A National Rental Car Shortage Is Making Car-Sharing More Appealing

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Rates of travel and vehicle use have skyrocketed since states began lifting COVID-19 restrictions. While everyone is eager to rid themselves of cabin fever, those hoping to find a rental car might need to be creative due to a nationwide shortage.
That’s why many travelers and commuters are turning to car-sharing as an alternative to rental cars. Whether you’re trying to insure your car while using it for car-sharing, or just exploring how car-sharing works, Jerry’s got you covered.
A woman wearing a white smart watch holds a black steering wheel with both hands.
The cost of traditional car rentals has skyrocketed recently | Twenty20

The national rental car shortage

The COVID-19 pandemic severely limited travel in America. Consumer Reports found that traveling rates across the U.S are up by 60% compared to this time last year. However, cars (new, used, and rented) are running low in supply. Why? The pandemic also affected auto manufacturers whose production lines were slowed or halted.
Consumer Reports recommends that with fewer options, consumers should consider car-sharing as a way to circumvent the rental car shortage. The website also recommends that travelers book plane tickets and hotel rooms early to avoid high travel costs, and to consider alternative destinations that might be less crowded.

How does car-sharing work?

Car-sharing is available in most major cities, and can be a great way to avoid the lines or unavailability that you might face at rental car locations in the coming months.
Car-sharing allows vehicle owners to use their car as a rental; typically after it’s been properly insured, inspected, and cleaned by the sponsored car-sharing company. One of the biggest names in the game is Turo.
Turo has become one of the most popular car-sharing programs in the U.S. With the option to efficiently list or rent a car, Turo has really streamlined car-sharing for the general public.
For car owners, Turo gives three different options to hand over the keys: by meeting the renter at the airport, delivering the car to the renter’s address, or having renters come to the owner’s residence.
These flexible service options also benefit renters, giving them more choice than they would’ve had using a traditional rental car service.
Turo also makes it easy for car owners to protect their vehicle during use by renters: after having their vehicle inspected and cleaned, drivers are able to buy third-party liability insurance (up to $750,000) through Liberty Mutual Insurance.

The future of the rental car shortage

The automotive industry is still playing catchup on many fronts after the COVID-19 pandemic. Until manufacturers can scale up production, new cars at dealerships and rental locations will be in low supply, and high demand.
If you’re traveling this summer, consider car-sharing as a way to find a vehicle. Using an app like Turo can be a great way to get more travel flexibility and options for picking up your rental car. And, if you choose to rent out your vehicle on a car-sharing platform, you might be able to use that extra cash to fund your next road trip.

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