, the leading site for European car rental, has warned of summer shortages.

The advisory warning to customers comes as reports of low availability continue to surface in the most popular European holiday destinations over the busy summer peak season.

Spanish resorts in particular are feeling the pinch, with Argus claiming that there are likely to be severe shortages in Mallorca, Alicante, Malaga, Ibiza, Menorca and Murcia – all traditional hot spots for UK holidaymakers. The low availability stems from the widespread fleet reductions forced upon car rental companies in the midst of the global travel downturn of 2009. Last year saw a reluctance by banks to finance new fleet purchases, leaving many operators out of stock after drastic cuts to fleets to survive the economic crisis. There was also a lack of buy backs from garages to leased vehicles that had provided much of the stock. The result is that in 2010, many hire organisations simply do not have the resources to meet demand.

Brand Manager for Argus, Barry Malone, advised that his group had undertaken an email campaign to alert its customers to the need for early bookings to avoid disappointment. “We wouldn’t like to see our customers disappointed so to avoid a repeat of last summer’s severe vehicle shortages, we’re issuing all of our clients with an email warning them about the current low availability situation. We have some great value deals on offer at the moment but these are subject to availability – customers will have to move quickly if they want to get the cheapest rates for June, July and August,” said Malone.