Green Pass, mandatory negative test, quarantine… The time when the community of Corsica argued for a “health shield” against the Covid-19 to regulate the summer tourist flow on the island seems far away. Today, none of these measures are in force, vacationers disembark freely and some airports break records in terms of attendance. With an unexpected consequence: car rental companies are already out of stock.
At Bastia-Poretta airport, the atmosphere has even been electric for several days. "It's simple, I'm on foot!" My reservation was canceled last week and here I am told that there is no availability, says Marie-Alice, who came with her sister. So we're going to take a taxi to reach Macinaggio at the tip of Cap Corse… ”
"We are dependent on the continent"
How is such a shortage possible? The versions differ according to the actors. For some, it's the Covid-19's fault. The vehicle fleets were ordered in full containment. Faced with the fear of a white season, stocks would have been lowered. As a precaution.
But for Jean-Noël Filippi, manager of the Hertz firm on the island, the problem lies on the other side of the Mediterranean. “Part of our car park is blocked in Marseille. Our suppliers' factories have been shutdown for months, and since they are producing overseas, the supply takes forever. Unfortunately on an island we are still dependent on the continent. "
According to Hertz, there would therefore have been "neither overbooking nor error in the orders". "We had planned as many cars as last year by betting everything on July and August with the arrival of the 500 Aiways electric SUVs," says the franchisee. In twenty-five years of profession, it is the first time that I find myself in this situation. All customers who have booked through our site will have a car. For the others, we have to apologize… ”
A parallel market on Leboncoin
In the terminal, at the bar table, a couple swaps phones. “I was naive when I thought I could rent a vehicle directly on site. Seeing most of the counters closed, my wife gave me a soap, concedes Clément. Fortunately, she just found a brand new 4x4 on Leboncoin. We are waiting for the owner to bring it to us. »Emergency rental cost: 250 euros per day and a deposit check. Holy inflation.
The least fortunate are those who have booked on platforms, via the famous brokers. Like Arnaud and his family: “I used to organize my vacation on Kayak (Editor's note: an online comparator) by taking a plane-hotel-car pack to save money. But the owner explained to me that he was not informed of the reservation. I now hope that the hotel will not be full when we arrive… ”
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On this side, the tourists do not have to worry. Hotel establishments have room. A lot, even. Only problem, the lack of small hands. The traditional seasonal workers could not be recruited. Another consequence of the crisis.