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|Rental car services are always busy during the Tet holiday.-VNA/VNS Photo|
A small survey by the Vietnam News Agency of rental car streets of Ha Noi showed the mid-range segment of passenger cars with four to seven seats is nearly completely sold out almost one month before Tet. If customers want to rent a car, they will have to commit to renting it for the entirety of the break, which lasts from February 2 to 10.
On rental car streets including Tran Khat Chan, Thai Thinh, Xa Dan and Hoang Mai, the shortage of cars and increasing demand have pushed prices up 20-30 per cent compared to normal rates, touching VND7 million-VND25 million (US$301-$1,075) per car, depending on the model. The difference in price between manual and automatic transmission cars ranges from VND100,000 to VND200,000 per day.
Although rental prices have increased, there is not enough stock of popular models such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota Fortuner.
Rather than raising prices, several rental companies have limited the number of kilometres each customer may drive. If a customer exceeds the limit, he or she will have to pay more money.
Nguyen Thanh Huong, Director of the Tourism and Transport Service Company Ltd, in Hai Ba Trung District, said prices were up because of increased demand.
“The customers are excited about seven-seat cars, which have seen rental prices increase by between VND200,000 and VND300,000 per day,” Huong said.
Five-seat models such as the Morning AT, Huyndai i10, Vios AT, Kia Cerato AT, Mazda3 AT, Mazda CX 5 AT and Toyota Camry have rental prices from VND800,000 to VND1.4 million per day. Those with seven seats such as the Innova AT, Kia Sorento A and Fortuner AT are priced from VND1.2 million to VND1.4 million.
Dang Tuan Anh, a Hanoian living on Bui Ngoc Duong Street, said he began seeking information about car rental services early last month. “It’s quite early but the rental price will be more expensive in the last days of the lunar year.”
“Although the cost during the holiday is higher than that of normal days, I still decided to hire a rental car because it is more convenient for my family of four, including two kids,” said Anh. “Travelling by passenger car during the holiday is so crowded, it makes us tired.”
Huu Cuong, a resident of Hue Street, complained the rental price of small sedans like the Kia Morning and Hyundai i10 was usually the lowest, but it has nearly doubled to VND1 million per day.
“Most companies now have high-end cars available such as the Ford Focus at VND13 million for ten days; the Vios and Innova at VND15 million each; and the Madza 6 and Kia Optima for VND25 million each,” said Cuong “The Tet holiday has nine days off but we are required to rent for 10 days. The price is too high; it’s very wasteful.”
Tran Dinh Duy, an owner of a car rental company on Tran Khat Chan Street, said his company had 40 cars sized from four seats to 16. All small passenger cars had been ordered one month ago, and even all the large passenger cars – which were rented to travel to pagodas on the holiday – had been booked.
“During the holiday, the rental cars must run all day with no time for maintenance, so customers need to check their cars carefully when receiving them in order to ensure safety and compensation if there is a problem,” Duy said.