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The man, who is travelling to the Emerald Isle with his family in the coming weeks, inquired about hiring a nine-seater car for the duration of their stay so they could explore some more remote areas of the country.
But after researching online, the unnamed father was given an eye-watering estimated quote of £43,000 – almost £5,000 more than what the car is allegedly worth.
Following the astronomical quote, the man’s brother-in-law and former Leitrim councillor, John McCartin, hit out at car rental companies, claiming their prices are 'extortionate and an embarrassment to the country'.
He told OceanFM on Monday (20 June): "He’s coming to Ireland and decided that he would book a car to bring him and his family around the countryside and he was charged something like €51,350 for a car - which he would only have the use of for nine days.
"You could buy the same car for around €45,000, so clearly, we acknowledge that there are supply chain issues and there’s a scarcity of cars at the moment but clearly these companies have the policy that they are going to charge the maximum they can get from anybody who is desperate for the use of a vehicle.
"The rates that are being sought are nothing short of extortionate and an embarrassment to the country."
Mr McCartin said he was so stunned by the quote that he went looking for alternatives for his brother-in-law and found that it is considerably cheaper to rent a helicopter in Ireland than a car at the moment.
"So for comparative purposes and a little bit of divilment, I googled to see if you could charter a helicopter and discovered that for around 200 kilometers a day it would be in the region of €3,500 which is a far cry over nine days from €51,000 my brother was quoted for the use of a nine-seater car," he shared.
The former councillor went on to discuss the possible negative impact car rental prices, such as the one his brother-in-law was quoted, will have on the tourism industry.
He added: "It’s an embarrassment to the country, and it’s an embarrassment to our tourist trade and to be honest, that is injurious to the future of any business that operates in the tourism industry.
"These people are biting off their own nose to spite their face, and the message that that sends out is that Ireland is not a place to visit and that is not the actual reality."
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