Rental Car Shortage is Forcing Myrtle Beach Tourists to Use U-Haul
Oct 14, 2021 · 3 min read
Car rentals have been hit unexpectedly hard by the pandemic. Fewer people traveling meant that rental companies scrambled for ways to stay afloat. Travel has picked up once again, but those who attempt to rent a car are discovering that rental prices have increased significantly.
To make travel more affordable, people have found alternatives to traditional car rentals. WBTW News reported that people in Myrtle Beach have a unique idea to rent a vehicle. Rather than using a car rental business, these savvy travelers are renting moving vehicles from U-Haul.
Rental costs have skyrocketed
During the pandemic, rental car companies had garages filled with cars that were not being used. To help make money, they started selling off some of their rental vehicles. When they did this, it gave them much-needed funds, but now it has made renting a car much more difficult.
With increased demand and decreased supply, the costs of renting a car have gone up dramatically. In Myrtle Beach, the price of a rental has gone up by 95% since 2019. Today reports that rental prices in parts of Hawaii have increased by 512%.
Thankfully for travelers, modern technology offers alternatives to conventional car rentals.
Alternative rental options
Peer-to-peer rental service Turo had already been growing before the pandemic, but rental shortages have led more people to Turo. Drivers can search the Turo app or website for cars in their area and rent directly from car owners. Some note that fees on Turo can add up quickly, meaning that renters save less than expected.
For shorter rentals, Zipcar offers car-sharing services in many cities in the United States. While not optimal for renting a vehicle for an entire vacation, Zipcar makes it easy to book a car for a few hours.
There are other alternatives to traditional car rentals, such as Getaround, and they each have their own pros and cons. For a true cost-saving option, though, U-Haul moving vehicles make great rentals.
U-Haul vehicles as rental cars
U-Haul offers pickup trucks, cargo vans, and other vehicles that help make moving easier. There aren't any rules against driving a U-Haul for reasons other than moving, though. Because of this, clever travelers have rented U-Haul vehicles as their primary cars while traveling.
The benefits to this are easy to see. In Myrtle Beach, for example, a basic U-Haul costs $100 less than an average car rental per day. A U-Haul van might not feel as cool to drive as a rented Tesla, but it definitely saves money.
This has not been a secret to U-Haul dealers either. Some have noticed travelers coming in with suitcases and renting vans or trucks. U-Hauls still have costs associated with them, but travelers can save money if they get their rental from a U-Haul shop.
The long-term effects of the pandemic on the car rental industry are not yet known. For now, though, traditional car rentals are costing much more than they did a few years ago. Driving a U-Haul might not be the first idea that people have when searching for a rental car. It might be the cost-saving measure needed to make traveling easier, though.
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