Calcutta: Car rental companies raise rates in struggle for survival | Calcutta News


KOLKATA: Several private car rental companies in the city have raised their prices after the century of gasoline and diesel prices rise to the Rs 100 mark. Those who have not yet said that ‘they will soon have to follow suit if they are to reduce daily losses.
Until last year, a regular sedan was available at Rs 130 to Rs 140 per hour for a minimum of 10 hours or Rs 13-Rs 14 per km for a minimum of 100 km. Now most agencies have increased the rate to Rs 150-Rs 160.
“How else can we survive? The pandemic has robbed us of customers and the rising price of fuel leaves us with nothing even after a full day of travel. We used to charge Rs 1400 for 10 hours even last month, but now we have increased it slightly to Rs 1500. We ended up with virtually nothing after paying for fuel and a day’s pay for the driver ” said Pronab Kr Mohanty, who runs a car rental business in New Town and Salt Lake.
Over the past two months, gasoline and diesel prices have climbed almost every other day. On Thursday, gasoline in the city cost Rs 100.68 / L and diesel was selling for Rs. 92.71 / L. Until April, gasoline cost 90.60 Rs / L and diesel was sold 83.59 Rs / L.

“Sometimes owners like us are forced to drive the cars to make a profit. For a 100 km trip there is a fuel consumption of around Rs 900 these days and the driver’s daily rate is Rs 600. If we don’t charge Rs 1,500 we will end up paying out of pocket. . We don’t earn enough to pay for EMI, maintenance and family expenses anymore, ”said Mithun Ghosh, who runs a car rental service in Behala.
Faruque Ansari of Fast Services in Park Street said the Covid restrictions had broken their backbone. “We charge Rs 1,500 for a normal sedan and Rs 3,500 for an average SUV. We also rent luxury cars, like BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz, between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000 for 10 hours, but we have not increased the rates for this section, ”said Ansari, who had to sell four of its 13 cars. cars over the past year to manage expenses.
With a large number of companies opting to work from home, the situation worsened for the rental companies that supplied cars to these companies. Those who are still in business – mostly affiliated with emergency services – continue with the old rate of Rs 140 per hour and claim to drastically cut their profit margins to ensure they don’t lose tenders .
“I am paying out of pocket, but if I increase the rate, another agency will offer a lower one and cash the tender,” said the owner of one agency without wanting to be named.


Pamela W. Robbins

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