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New car shortages will prompt festive rental boom, predicts VW

Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) Rent-a-Car logo

Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) has predicted that new car supply shortages will trigger a festive car rental boom for franchised retailers operating its Rent-a-Car service.

The captive finance house expects motorists to turn to rental to get behind the wheel of newer, larger and more reliable vehicles over the coming weeks after Rent-a-Car delivered 144% year-on-year growth in November.

Online bookings also sky-rocketed, it said, with more than 220% growth compared to 2020.

Mark Forton, VWFS’s director of mobility services, said: “This substantial growth in the rental market can be attributed to a number of factors around a shortage of new vehicles, increasing ease to book and for lots of people, a new way of travelling.

“People who perhaps have no vehicle or run smaller vehicles year-round are hiring larger, more reliable vehicles to fulfil their Christmas plans of visiting friends and family – which will hopefully be very different from last year’s muted festive season.”

VWFS said that the semi-conductor shortage limiting the supply of new vehicles to market had seen many potential car retail customers turn to rental in the short-term.

European new car registration data analysed by Jato Dynamics has indicated that Volkswagen Group brands have been hard-hit by the current shortage of semiconductors and other components to the manufacturing sector.

Jato said that vehicle production issues had a “notable impact” on the overall best-selling vehicle rankings in November.

Registrations of the Volkswagen Golf and Toyota Yaris fell by 72% and 65%, respectively, as top position was occupied by the Renault Clio.

AM reported last week on a YouGov survey which indicated that – despite reports of motorists giving up their vehicles during the COVID-19 lockdowns – people still want to own their own car.  

The mobility survey of 2,400 people, conducted on behalf of technology company Stripe, found that 63% of people are ‘not interested’ in taking advantage of shared mobility schemes such are ride hailing or car sharing services.

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