Why is there a rental car shortage?
Air travel nearly came to a halt last year and major rental car companies had a large number of unused cars. Much of the inventory was parked in empty lots or sold off to prevent further financial loss.
However, more people have been going on vacation as the number of people vaccinated increases. Rental car companies weren’t ready for the new surge of demand for rental cars, and couldn’t rebuild their supply of vehicles fast enough.
What other options are there for car rentals?
Tourists are dealing with the frustration by getting creative. Many people have turned to solutions like renting cars from other people, rideshare services, or renting a car locally to drive to their destination.
Tourists in Hawaii especially, are saving money by renting out U-Haul trucks. The moving trucks are becoming a common sight in the state's popular tourist areas.
One thing that vacationers are quickly realizing is not to wait until the last minute to rent a car. The cost of renting a car is no longer just a small add-on. Prices for renting cars have more than doubled in some locations. You’ll want to plan for this expense ahead of time if you’re hoping to travel and rent a car.
What are car rental companies doing to increase supply?
In any case, even if companies can’t meet demand, they are seeing big profits from renting out cars at much higher rates than before. Hertz is bouncing back from entering bankruptcy last year with this increase in demand. You can use online sites like AutoSlash ahead of time to check car rental prices and try to save money.
How to save costs on rental cars