11 November 2008 – This year’s high fuel prices and continuing credit crunch have changed demand in the car hire market according to price comparison site Carrentals.co.uk, which has seen a 10% increase in bookings for fuel efficient economy cars.
The ‘mini’ and ‘economy’ category cars accounted for over 50% of the company’s bookings in 2008, up from 40% in 2007, underlining the need for customers to minimise expenditure on elements such as petrol.
The top destinations over the year were Faro, Malaga, Alicante, Heathrow Airport and Palma, with Orlando the only long-haul destination to make it into the top 20 rental locations as travellers choose to save money and stay closer to home.
Gareth Robinson, managing director of Carrentals.co.uk, said: “This year has been challenging, with rising fuel costs, airline failures, and the credit crunch. What we have seen is travellers respond to this by opting for smaller cars, which are not only cheaper to rent but are generally more fuel-efficient. Similarly, the top locations are largely UK and Europe based, reflecting the trend towards holidays closer to home that are more affordable.”
Travellers are also covering themselves more in case of an accident in a foreign country. Over 45% now book some form of Collision Damage Waiver Insurance, ensuring they receive a refund on their excess should they be involved in an accident that damages the car.
The company is also seeing a growing number of customers booking holiday extras through their site. Bookings of airport parking, lounges and hotels increased by 20% year on year.
Robinson added: “Travellers have got a lot more savvy in the credit crunch – they are shopping around and looking for the best deal, rather than simply settling for the first option. We’ve put a lot of effort into creating a site that not only offers the best car hire prices, but also offers great value extras, and this is resulting in a growing following.”
Carrentals.co.uk is the leading price comparison site for car hire, comparing up to 50 companies including Budget, Sixt, Holiday Autos, Expedia, Thrifty and its own Carrentals.co.uk prices. In 2008 it was voted the Best Car Hire Website in the Travolution Awards.
For more information visit www.carrentals.co.uk
Carrentals.co.uk was launched in February 2003 and grew to become one of the UK’s leading online car hire companies by 2006.
In 2007 the company re-launched its site to create the first major online price comparator in the travel industry. Using the latest technology the Carrentals.co.uk site now searches up to 50 different car hire websites, providing an impartial comparison of the best prices available in over 9,000 locations.
Websites searched include Budget, Thrifty, Sixt, Holiday Autos, Opodo, EBookers, Carrentals.co.uk and EasyCar, with the Carrentals.co.uk site quickly comparing prices and allowing customers to refine their search by car type.
The Carrentals.co.uk site also features over 6,000 links to useful tourist information sites, plus over 2,700 pages of travel information in a mini-guide format.
In 2008 Carrentals.co.uk was voted Best Car Hire Website in the Travolution Awards. To book or for further information visit www.carrentals.co.uk
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