Wet weather puts rental cars in huge demand

Tuesday January 06, 2015 Written by Published in Economy
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An influx of December visitors and families returning home has seen rental companies across the island running out of cars.

Island Car and Bike Hire Rarotonga general manager Kristina Tatam says the company’s four branches across Rarotonga were ‘incredibly busy’ through the month of December.

“It has been crazy – mainly locals coming home for weddings and Christmas.

“More recently the wet weather has also seen most people choose cars instead of scooters. We are running really low on cars.”

Throughout the year the company rents about 30 cars a day, but at the moment they are renting up to 50, she said.

“It will quieten down in February and March, which will give us time to do thorough car cleans.” 

Yesterday afternoon, she said the business had run completely out of rental cars, and the only vehicles at the Arorangi branch were a few that were undergoing repairs.

A spokesman for Polynesian Bike Hire said the business had also been swamped with locals returning home and needing to hire rental vehicles

The huge demand meant many visitors missed out being able to hire a car.

“Most people came from New Zealand and Australia and we also had an influx for the Seventh Day Adventist camp.”

The deluge of rain experienced on the island recently meant that cars were in big demand,  but now that the weather was improving they were now renting out more scooters.

The influx of Cook Islanders coming to Rarotonga for their Christmas-New Year holidays has also meant good business for some of the islands accommodation businesses.

Rarotongan Resort and Spa resort manager Haimona Browne said the Christmas and New Year period has been “full on”.

“We were still at 100 per cent capacity on January 2, with both visitors and locals staying with us.”

This year the resort ran a special local rate for accommodation and hopes to provide more local deals throughout the year.

Yesterday the resort was still busy, with more guests arriving, Browne said.

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