AAA has warned that there will be a “significant shortage of rental cars available” this summer. On Thursday, the consumer advocacy group issued a lengthy report on the impact of the pending increase in gas prices and is calling on the government to do more to address the problem.
It’s come to my attention that there is a large shortage of rental cars on the road this season due to the ongoing labor disruptions at the major airports. As many as 60% of Chevy Volts are being left on the street, according to the rental car company Hertz. Enterprise, the nation’s second largest car rental company, is having to rent out many of its 2012 models as well. Hertz has gone a step further, and is adding a $2,500 surcharge to all of its rates in the New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. areas.
A Shortage of Cars? Who’da thought?. Read more about airport rental cars and let us know what you think.Have you recently tried to rent a car but failed? Many drivers have had a similar problem. The shortage of rental cars will likely get worse before it gets better, but Consumer Reports offers some tips to get around the current situation.
Why is there a shortage of rental cars?
A Hertz branch in the middle of a car rental bottleneck. | Cindy Ord/Getty Images) According to Consumer Reports, the limited number of cars in rental fleets and rising prices make it harder than ever to get a rental car. Last year, amid the panic over the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many leasing companies sold off a significant portion of their leased vehicle fleets. Since no one was driving anymore, it made sense to recoup some of the lost revenue by selling cars. Since then, however, things have changed. According to AAA, Memorial Day weekend will see about 60 percent more travel than last year. That seems like a solid number, but it’s still about six million fewer travelers than in 2019. More than 37 million people are expected to make the trip, but not everyone will be able to use a rental car. The AAA points out that these figures are likely to fluctuate as the holiday approaches, as the situation in some regions is still very volatile. If you are planning a trip, it is a good idea to try to find the location of the rental car in advance to get it. And be prepared to pay more, especially in exotic places like Hawaii.
Consumer Reports tips for driving a rental car
APPROPRIATE: Consumer Reports’ most reliable convertibles for summer The best advice is to book early, but it may already be too late. With Memorial Day already here, it may be too late for this occasion. However, if you have plans for late summer, you should rent a car as soon as possible. Many people prefer to travel by car rather than by plane, which has only exacerbated the shortage of rental cars. Hertz claims to have many locations outside the usual airports. If your airport is fully booked, try to find a nearby airport. You may have to take a taxi or Uber to get there, but it’s worth it. It is also possible that the airport is fully booked on busy weekends, even if you have booked a ticket. Get off the beaten track! Avid, Dollar, Hertz, Enterprise and all the other big players will probably be the first to sell. If you have the time to look into it, there are several small local businesses in the larger cities. Supporting small local businesses is always a plus. There are also new platforms to try out. Apps like Turo and DriveShare let you rent someone else’s car that’s not in use. Cool options like the Tesla, a facelifted Toyota Highlander or even a Lamborghini are sometimes offered on these platforms. Not that everyone needs a Lamborghini for leisure travel, but some might like it.
Don’t be afraid to govern yourself
RELIABLE: 5 reliable luxury cars in 2021 Sometimes the reluctance to drive across the country (or to go places you can’t go, like Hawaii) is understandable. But it’s not a bad time for a trip. If you are traveling and have time to spare, you can avoid the drama of renting a car altogether and drive your own. It also means more adventures along the way. Plan the route and visit a few sights along the way. Depending on where you are going, there are several public transport options. It really depends on the area, but in many places buses, subways and taxis are still viable options. These options were hit hard by the lack of demand during the pandemic, forcing the use of empty buses and trains. In addition, many hotels and resorts offer their guests options. Call the hotel to see if a shuttle or something is available. Your Airbnb host may even be nearby and can bring you. Uber is always an option too. These days, Lyft and Uber allow you to plan your rides in advance, so there’s already a ride waiting for you. One last piece of advice: think about your destination. Orlando, Las Vegas, Nashville and Denver are experiencing significant growth in the number of travelers. If you take a light vacation, you can try to think outside the box. Disney buys tickets weeks in advance, which means: long lines, lots of people, and nothing around. By planning ahead and trying something new, you can have the best vacation ever.The good news is that you can still get a great deal on a rental car, but the bad news is, you’ll need to act fast. That’s because many rental car companies have begun to fill their fleets with used cars, and in some cases they are even clearing old rental cars by offering them for sale online. This leaves you at serious risk of being stuck with a car that is in even worse shape than you expected.. Read more about cheapest rental car company and let us know what you think.
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