No car rental boost from jitney closure


Tribune Business Reporter

Car rental companies yesterday said high unemployment and reduced incomes meant they had seen no increase in business as a result of the government’s COVID-19 public transport shutdown.

Gary Cox, general manager of Destiny Motor Car and Rentals, told Tribune Business: “Right now, when we came back after the lockdown for over two months, everything was dead. We are just trying to revive ourselves, but we are faced with now the lockdown over the weekends and so forth, so it is basically going backwards instead of going forward.

“We started to improve a little, but now we notice that it is dying off again. It’s a fight and we are trying to stay alive.” The government abruptly closed jitney services earlier this week in an attempt to curb the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Busses had earlier been allowed to resume operations in early July after being halted at the end of March in response to the first COVID-19 outbreak.

Mr Cox said this had “not helped at all” in terms of increasing business for car rental companies. He added: “Folks are finding that residual income to rent a car is not as easy as it used to be, so the bottom line is everybody has seen a dip in sales now.

“There are other variables taking place that cause this dip in sales, too, because you have more of the folks now who are in the rental business doing it from their home and so forth. So for folks like me who were established, paying the business license and paying staff... it’s tough for us more so than the ones that are doing it from their homes.”