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Ireland Car rental firm warns of looming crisis

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The largest independent car rental company in Ireland has warned of a looming crisis for the coming tourist season because of a lack of vehicles for rent.

Limerick-based Dan Dooley Car Rentals said that the severe shortage of cars in the rental fleet across Ireland could cost the coming tourist season over €200m.

A recent report on the car rental shortages stated that the number of cars on offer has fallen from 30,000 in 2006 to over 12,000 last year.

The manager of Dan Dooley Motors, Pat Dooley, said today that the shortages will be felt by visitors over the Easter break but warned that it will become severe over the summer.

He added that rental costs in Ireland due to the shortages are already more expensive that in England, Scotland and Wales, which will have an added negative effect on the tourism industry in Ireland.

The car rental industry is blaming Government changes to the VRT rebate system, coupled with difficulties by car dealers in getting finance from banks, for the crisis.

It is asking the new Minister for Tourism, Mary Hanafin, to deal with the issue as a matter of urgency.

Shannon Development, the regional tourism authority for the Shannon Region, has also voiced its concern about the issue.

‘The car rental sector is a key component of the tourism economy,’ said Pat Daly, Tourism and Marketing Division Manager with Shannon Development.

‘One third of all overseas holidaymakers hire a car while in Ireland and the projected shortage in the car rental fleet will have major knock on effects for all sectors of the tourism industry,’ he added.

March 24th, 2010