It seems the recession is affecting everyone, even car rental companies.
A recent BBC article reports that travelers are paying substantially higher fees for vehicles or, even worse, finding themselves with no car at all due to overbooking by the rental company.
Rental firms anticipated fewer travelers this year as a result of the recession and did not update their fleets (or could not update their fleets due to tighter financing restrictions).
During heavy travel periods demand is simply exceeding supply.
The countries hardest hit are Spain, France, and Italy. Prices are up 70% in some popular destinations.
My advice to avoid possible headaches?
As always, book early and do your homework. Give yourself enough time to shop around and find the best deal. Also, it may be cheaper to book a larger vehicle instead of an economy car. Smaller cars are much more in demand because everyone thinks they’ll be cheaper, so you may get a better deal if you upsize.