The coronavirus pandemic hit the tourism industry in an unprecedented way. All items registered changes. The car rentals, what became a trend in Argentina.
Outside of the current restrictions, the growth of travel within the country and the intentions to avoid crowds caused this sector to become indispensable when planning vacations or getaways.
“Of all the tourism products, it is the one that was least affected by the coronavirus. Today we know that since 2019, the last “normal” year, the purchasing dynamics have changed. In cars we even achieved a increase On sales in the country since October 2020 with the launch of Previaje ”, explains Erika Schamis, head of packages of To the world.
For her part, Clara Furlong, commercial director of Sixt, says that “there is a tendency to rent more cars and a clear example was the summer, when it was noticed that travelers in general preferred travel in their own vehicles than in tours or combis ”.
Despite the pandemic, car rental for tourism purposes increased during the summer. Photo Shutterstock.
From Avis Budget Rent A Car Licensee they maintain that throughout 2020 they had a very strong drop in corporate clients, but from December to March the indicators improved.
According to Schamis, this is becauseand the Argentines began to travel more around your country, with the general tendency that a particular destination is no longer visited but rather choose to know several places, although they are not typical tourist destinations. To this is added that the travel bubbles they prefer not to share transportation with other people, to feel safer.
“In Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Mendoza we see that people are renting for the day or even for a couple of hours. We understand that these are people who used public transport and today they choose not to, ”adds Furlong.
Economy cars are the most sought after by customers. Photo Shutterstock.
El Calafate, Bariloche, Mendoza, Salta and Buenos Aires are the destinations where the most vehicles are rented.
And as for the format, “the cars small or cheap they are the most wanted; followed by the medium and large ones ”, explains Paula Cristi, Despegar’s general manager for Argentina and Uruguay.
From Almundo they agree, and add: “Among so many changes that we have seen throughout this ‘new normal’, the car has been implemented with a little more luxury, mini vans and trucks. It may be that it has to do with the fact that people are traveling more in Argentina and decide that their trip of the year is not abroad and invest a little more ”.
At Sixt, meanwhile, they note that young people joined as customers and, in general, they prefer vehicles with an automatic transmission.
People prefer to rent cars and avoid public transportation or tours. Photo Shutterstock.
Depending on the company, the requirements to rent vary. In some cases, for example, the driver is required to be over 21 or 23 years old; in others, it is enough to be 18 years old. In all cases it is necessary to have a driving record, a credit card in the name of the driver as a guarantee and an identity document.
Rates and options
On the Almundo page, the most economical model for 4 passengers quotes for a day about $ 3,000. A car of high end, instead, some $ 3,900.
Rates vary not only by model, but also by area. The minimum price for El Calafate , for example, is located at $ 5,500; on Mendoza, starts in $ 2,500, and in Puerto Iguazú, from $ 3,000.
“We started to do a campaign once a month or a month and a half called ‘Almundo on wheels’. We call on all providers to provide specific offers that we combine with special financing. We have already done two and we have more planned at the end of May or the beginning of June to do another one ”, they point out in Almundo.
At Despegar, a manual transmission economy car, in Buenos Aires, has a base rate of $ 3,100 per day. A pickup, with the same conditions, starts in $ 7,000. These cars can carry up to 5 people and have space for suitcases. Rates are flexible and include free cancellation up to 24 hours before of withdrawal, coverage for damage and theft with excess and liability insurance.
The German company Sixt authorized young people between the ages of 18 and 21 to rent cars. Sixt press photo.
In Sixt, for 24 hours in Buenos Aires the cheapest costs $ 2,500 per day; the most expensive, $ 5,500. The company highlights that Bariloche in high season is on average 30% more expensive than the city of Buenos Aires.
The Avis rental company has cars from $ 3,000 per day in Buenos Aires. Category ones Premium, meanwhile, that allow up to 5 people to travel comfortably, they are achieved from $ 6,500. By making a prepayment of the reservation via the web, you can access a 15% discount.
The prices of Omega Rent a Car, a local company that has more than 22 categories and has been on the market for 10 years, range from $ 2,490 to $ 8,200 for one vehicle per day.
Although it also has promotional packages: for example, a car for 7 days, you pay 6, and the same with 4 days paying 3.
Car rental rates in Argentina are similar to those in other countries. Photo Shutterstock.
For years, renting in the United States was cheaper than doing it in our country. However, all the sources consulted maintain that this is no longer the case.
“Today the exchange difference in dollars means that the values of Argentina are not far from the costs of renting in other countries. Without any doubt that the difference is in the models and performance of the vehicles that are accessed abroad, compared to vehicles of renting local ”, explains Sebastián Piñeiro, general manager of Avis.
Sixt’s Furlong adds: “In times past, Miami It was much cheaper than Argentina, but today it is no longer. This was because the United States and Europe have policies in place for car rental. A single Miami branch in 2019 had twice the fleet of all branches in Argentina. In parts it’s because America is so much easier to buy cars; the company there company changes them every 6 months. And it is not necessary to go so far, in Chile it is the same; there are accompanying financial policies ”.
The boom of applications
Awto is a Chilean brand that landed in Argentina on March 6, 2019. To rent a vehicle with it, it is necessary to download the application, upload personal information, a payment method and the driver’s license, among other required documentation.
The withdrawal points are concentrated in the Federal Capital, although there are also in Olivos and Vicente López. Cars are found in service stations, shopping malls, airports, hotels and traditional parking lots.
Awto is an application to rent cars. It works mainly in the City of Buenos Aires.
“With the pandemic, customer behavior changed a lot. It used to behave quite similarly from Monday to Monday, with short trips, and we didn’t have many clients for idle activities. But as of June 2020, customers saw a tendency to take advantage of every free hour. On weekends, until the last restrictions, we had no vehicle availability. On Thursdays at the last minute or early Fridays, everyone ‘flew’, ”explains Juan Cruz Simone, operations analyst.
The company has three categories of cars: compact, cargo and premium. The cheapest have a value of $ 16.50 per minute, $ 990 per hour Y $ 4,950 a day, which is considered once the vehicle is running for more than 5 hours. If the car is stopped, meanwhile, the minute costs half.
The cars intermediate They start at $ 18 per minute, $ 1,080 an hour and $ 5,400 a day. And those of high end, $ 19.50 for 60 seconds, $ 1,170 an hour and $ 5,850 a day. This last rate includes 180 kilometers of fuel.
Voyenauto is an application that offers subscription rental.
Voyenauto is another company whose vehicles are reserved from the application or website and allows each driver to define how many days per month do you need to move. It offers a multi-brand rental service that for now is only available in Capital Federal.
It works through a subscription system. Using an economy car for five days (allows to do 1,000 kilometers) costs $ 12,290, while a transport of an intermediate category for the same time has a value of $ 14,490. The most expensive option for 5 days is $ 32,590 by higher-end vehicles.