Eid transportation shortage leads to increased car rentals

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Eidul Fitr is expected to fall on Wednesday (today) and on Tuesday, a surge in car rental businesses was witnessed in Rawalpindi and Islamabad while auto showroom owners had also doubled the rent on vehicles to maximise profit. Shortage of tickets for trains and buses, particularly in the federal capital, have forced many families to hire private cars during the Eid holidays. A survey conducted by Pakistan Today revealed that the rent for a small car which was Rs 1,000 during normal days had now been increased to Rs 2,100 while the rent for a Toyota Corolla had been increased to Rs 5,000 from the usual Rs 3,000.
Interestingly, the increase in car rental rates did not have an impact on the demand for these vehicles, as a large number of customers thronged the rent-a-car shops in Rawalpindi and Islamabad during these days.
Asghar Bajwa, who runs a rent-a-car shop on Peshawar Morr market, said this was a good time to make additional profit by doubling the rents. He said they kept the rates very nominal except in these three to four days. “It is our right and the people who want to hire a private car are capable of paying a high rent” he added.
Muhammad Jamal, another rent-a-car shop owner on Kashmir Road, said besides families, a large number of youngsters also hired private vehicles. “But we are reluctant to rent cars to youngsters as most of them intend to misuse these cars during the holidays” he said, adding that they could not lease cars without proper assurance. He said many people turned up to hire vehicles to travel long inter-city distances and found fares to be high.
However, the shop owners said that the increase in fares was justified saying that most of the roads linking the various districts in Pakistan were dilapidated and traffic congestion was also routine these days which required more fuel. Following the current situation where it seemed impossible to find public transport, most people would be compelled to hire cars on rent as an alternative way to reach their Eid destinations.

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