Every May, as the mercury rises and thousands of tourists descend on Barcelona, car-sharing app SocialCar is typically bombarded with a flood of requests.

The start-up, which allows drivers to hire out their own vehicles as rental cars across Spain, would normally expect 2,500 transactions during the month, the traditional start of the crucial peak season. This month, they will be happy to clear 300.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now