Almost half of the new cars on Greek roads last year were purchased by rental companies, according to data by the Association of Hellenic Car Rental Tourism Enterprises (STEEA).
The sector’s enterprises bought a total of 36,189 new cars last year in an effort to cover the demand from the increasing tourism flow, the figures showed.
On this year, STEEA president Dimitris Magioros says that bookings from foreign markets are not showing last year’s growth, and in this context he expects last-minute bookings to be more dominant. He also calls for cautious handling of the immigration issue to avoid any consequences on incoming tourism.
Magioros further notes that, under certain conditions, his sector will be contributing to the car sales market for another year. Most car rental companies make their their annual purchase plans for the season in February and March, expecting to take delivery of their orders between May and July.
The association, which represents 2,500 companies with 30,000 employees and a fleet of some 160,000 vehicles, is opposed to two ministerial decisions made recently without consultation with the sector: The first concerns the increase in the age limit for cars rented to 12 years, from seven or nine (depending on the size), and STEEA says this contravenes the effort to upgrade Greece’s tourism product. The second forces companies to put distinctive marks on the cars they rent out with a driver, which STEEA believes will lead to needless bureaucracy.