A parking lot for rental cars outside Rovaniemi Airport (Image: Lehtikuva)

News in brief

AVAILABLE STOCKS OF RENTAL CARS IN FINLAND have almost entirely run out, largely due to the domestic tourism boom that has been prompted by COVID-19 related restrictions on international leisure travel. 

Major car rental companies such as Hertz had taken measures to reduce their available rental car stocks in the spring, when the initial wave of the pandemic resulted in strict internal travel restrictions. According to HS, companies also reduced capacity in the expectation that foreign tourists, who typically represent a significant chunk of the car rental market, would not be travelling to Finland for vacation this year. 

However, the coronavirus has fuelled an unprecedented surge in domestic leisure travel, with more Finns choosing to travel within the country. As a result, supply has not been able to keep up with demand, especially in the Helsinki region, where demand for rental cars is highest. 

Some estimates predict that around 90% of available rental car stock in Finland has now been used. The majority of available rental cars now are expensive, high-end vehicles that can cost hundreds of euros to rent for just a few days. Although domestic leisure travel has been "strongly discouraged" by Finnish public health officials, it seems that travellers are undeterred. 


Adam Oliver Smith - HT

Image Credit: Lehtikuva