Rental Car Prices Expected To Remain High This Summer
A Hertz Location As 2021 U.S. Car Rental Revenue Climbs 21% Budget, Payless, Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, National, Enterprise and Alamo rental car signage at the Louisville International Airport in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. The U.S. car rental industry achieved overall revenues of $28.1 billion in 2021 - a 21% gain over the pandemic year of 2020, according to data collected by Auto Rental News. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images Bloomberg / Contributor
Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg/Contributor via Getty Images

Americans are getting back to normal, which is leading to a shortage in the availability of certain items. 

According to a new report, rental car shortages are anticipated to continue in the coming months because of the lack of global chips and additional supply chain issues.

“With demand for rental cars expected to be high, plan to book early and brace for high prices in popular leisure destinations,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to a recent analysis by Destination Analysts, “Americans’ excitement to travel over the next 12 months is the highest it has ever been in the pandemic era.”

Over 80% of American travelers exhibit higher levels of excitement for their prospective travel future and those in a ready-to-travel mindset hit an all-time high 84.6%. More Americans than ever, since the onset of the pandemic, plan to take at least one leisure trip in the next 12 months (93.3%),” it noted. 

Americans also appear to be optimistic about the trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic. Their “optimism about the pandemic’s course in the next month leapt 10-points (to 51.2%), while the proportion highly concerned about contracting the virus dropped (57.4%).”

The increased excitement about traveling is leading to a lower availability of cars to rent. Rental car companies sold a significant portion of their inventory in the earlier stages of the pandemic, but they’re now starting to resupply their stock. “A spokeswoman for Enterprise Holdings, whose brands include Enterprise, National and Alamo, says the company is optimistic about its fleet purchase this year, but anticipates supply challenges will continue,” the Journal reported.

Jonathan Weinberg is the founder and chief executive officer of AutoSlash, a site that looks for deals on rental cars. He said customers should anticipate similar costs this spring break when compared with last year — around 50% more than 2019.

He also noted that rental costs in the summer of 2021 were 75% more than they were in the summer of 2019. “While he doesn’t expect rates to be quite as high this summer, he says it is possible they could reach the same levels depending on demand and how many vehicles companies can add. Customers should expect to pay more than in 2019, and face challenges renting in certain popular destinations such as Hawaii, Alaska and Montana where vehicles are scarce, he says,” the outlet added.

“Pricing for the week before Easter in 2019 was $56 a day, according to Kayak search data. Over the same search period this year, prices are averaging $83 a day for the week before Easter, an increase over last year’s $64 a day,” the outlet noted.

The Journal offered advice on countering the shortage of rental cars if people are planning to travel:

  • Plan ahead. 
  • Call companies directly. 
  • Leverage discounts. 
  • Track prices. 
  • Look into a car-sharing service. 
  • Check off-airport sites. 

Americans are going back to regular life in various ways as the pandemic wanes and people tire of previous restrictions. 

As The Daily Wire reported, “the return rate to movie theaters during the first week of February was at 58% of what it was prior to the pandemic, per a Kastle analysis of industry statistics, according to the Journal. Restaurants were almost three-quarters as full as they were prior to the pandemic, and air travel had come to around 80%. ‘Attendance at National Basketball Association games was 93% of what it was in February 2020, Kastle said,’ per the Journal.” 

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