Khareef season a boon for car transport companies
With the khareef season in full swing, many vacationers are opting to use auto carriers to transport their vehicles between Muscat and Salalah in order to avoid the long, dangerous drive.
Injuries and fatalities among holidaymakers which occur on a yearly basis have already prompted the ROP to take proactive steps such as the issuance of a list of emergency contacts in strategic locations between Adam and Thumrait.
An official from Al Awam Transport, said, “There is a spike in business at this time of the year. The majority of our customers are from Oman or other GCC countries. The rising price of fuel has forced more people to look into car transport solutions, but the primary concern is safety.
“Apart from the risk of meeting with an accident, there are long, empty stretches of road where a simple breakdown would mean a long and inconvenient wait for all occupants of the vehicle. In this industry, vehicle transport prices from Muscat to Salalah are higher than Salalah to Muscat.”
Seven to eight vehicles fit on a trailer truck. While rates vary slightly, the average price for the two-way transport is RO85 per saloon car and RO100 per SUV.
Sobi Mons PS, transport manager, Geneve General Projects, said, “During this time of the year, business picks up as people want the convenience of having their own vehicle when they visit Salalah, but more importantly, they want to avoid the long, monotonous and dangerous drive.
“Our yards are approximately ten minutes from both Muscat and Salalah airports, so after landing, our customers can take a short taxi ride to collect their vehicles. Our trucks are fully insured, and we verify that the vehicles we haul are insured as well.”
A transport company broker added, “Depending on the number of people going to and from Salalah, and the duration of their stay, the transport option can actually save money. If you factor in fuel, wear-and-tear of the vehicle, and car rental in Salalah, shipping the vehicle becomes financially feasible at the four-five day mark. The longer the period, the more it makes sense as people save on rent-a-car fee.
“Aside from holidaymakers, some of our business comes from companies. For example, rent-a-car companies with a presence in both cities may choose to transport cars to Salalah for the lucrative khareef season, or companies who send work crews from Muscat to Salalah for an extended period use our services, and send their employees by bus.”