The car rental business is up this Lunar New Year season. Industry players said that compared to the same period last year, it has gone up 25 to 30 per cent.
Rental cars are a popular option to ferry family and friends this festive season.
K K Ho, general manager of Popular Rent A Car, said: “We figured it is because of the recovery of the economy and also because of the sudden rise in COE, which (are) some reasons why the buyers, some of those who find it too expensive to buy a car, world prefer to rent a car instead.”
Some companies said their car rental fleet was booked way ahead this year.
But the downside to the high demand is that prices are being jacked up by at least 20 per cent across the industry.
Customers however do not seem to mind the extra cost, as long as they can get their hands on a set of hired wheels.
One customer, Esther Loo, said: “The rental fee is kind of higher this year. But I think it is is still more economical because car prices are high due to the increase in COEs.”
Meanwhile, unlike mass market vehicles, demand for cars such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis has been more or less constant compared to the previous year.
Chris Cheah, operations manager at Luxe Car Rental, said: “These cars cater to a very niche clientele and not only that; during the Chinese New Year period, people go visiting a lot. So these cars are not very practical, you can’t really carry a lot of people and a lot of stuff. You can’t park in a lot of car parks, so I do not see a big difference in the demand.”
However, sales of such cars have spiked with more Singaporeans getting affluent.
Luxe Rental, the first car rental company in Singapore to offer these high-end cars, said it expects demand in future to grow in tandem. Thus, it is looking at increasing its fleet to meet any increase in future demand.