(MENAFN - Arab News) Car rental companies have incurred the wrath of the civic authorities who are taking action against dealers using the space in front of their outlets to park cars causing immense congestion.
It is the norm for dealers to park their cars for display in front of their outlets, which encroaches upon the thoroughfares disrupting the smooth flow of traffic and blocking pedestrians who have to weave through the vehicles to get to their destinations.
Some of these car rental companies are located in busy neighborhoods with restaurants, banks and other public utilities where it is hard to find parking space.
The Jeddah Municipality has warned rental companies against parking more than two vehicles on the road to ease the traffic congestion and clear the way for pedestrians. However, the rental companies argue that if they rented space for parking cars, they would have to hike car tariffs, which is not in the interest of the customer.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the municipality said that it has closed down three car rental companies in the city for repeated violation of parking norms. It has also imposed a penalty of SR82,000 on 120 offices of car rental firms.
The municipality said that it is monitoring the pavements and roads in front of car rental companies for damage to the roads and for the lack of hygiene which will be dealt with firmly.
The Jeddah traffic police seized 180 cars belonging to such companies last month as they were parked in front of car dealer's outlets.
Saeed Al-Bassami, chairman of car rental companies at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the authorities have to differentiate between the seriousness of offenses when seizing the cars or imposing any penalties on car rental companies. He said the car rental companies are working to find a solution to the crisis.