Show me the money: save on rental cars
The new shortage of rental cars during the pandemic. When you book a trip, the order is usually a flight, a hotel and then possibly reserve the car – but not anymore.
This year, experts say to book that rental car first. Tina Sumerford and her family traveled to Phoenix, Arizona last month to celebrate her daughter’s 30th birthday.
They booked a rental car, but when they got to the counter they said they had been told “sorry, no car available”.
“I was very flabbergasted by the situation,” said Tina Sumerford.
In the end, spending $ 600 during the trip on rental cars to and from the airport when they only expected to pay $ 330 for the rental.
“What is the reservation for?” added Sumerford.
“If they don’t give you your reservations, they should actually compensate you somehow,” Sumerford said.
Tina and Chris are not alone. Social media is teeming with posts about the shortages and images of queuing for rental cars for hours at airports across the country, and it was only the people who were able to get reservations.
Hertz said its inventory was below 300,000, a 42% drop from 2019. Avis said it “profitably divested” 250,000 vehicles globally last year.
“Rental cars experienced a terrible business situation during the pandemic. So they sold, in some cases, up to half of their fleet, ”said Scott McCartney of the Wall Street Journal, travel columnist. “They have sold over half a million cars. Lots of cars, they found a very strong used car market to sell them.
But now that they are trying to replace these vehicles, another shortage is making matters worse.
“Then you mix up the problems that rental car companies have had to get new cars out of factories from manufacturers that have had to slow down due to a shortage of semiconductor chips,” McCartney added.
Hertz confirms these issues by adding “we anticipate that the high demand for rental cars will last for several months and throughout the summer and encourage customers to book as early as possible and at the same time they are making alternative arrangements. trip.”
“I think the lesson I learned is that I’m going to make sure to call ahead to confirm and make sure our reservation will be there,” Tina said.
There is no quick fix for this problem, but there are a few tips.
Give yourself more time at the airport to get the rental car. Consider renting from a location outside the airport. A drastic recommendation – some resort to renting U-Haul pickup trucks for their vacations.
Another suggestion worth considering, peer-to-peer sharing sites like Turo, GetAround, and Avail.
It’s like Airbnb for cars and it saves money.
For example, a Memorial Day weekend rental in Honolulu costs over $ 1,300 with national rental chains – but on Turo only $ 137.
Of course, keep in mind that you don’t know how these private owners maintain their cars and a lot of people rely on their credit card companies to provide rental car insurance – it may not work here.
You might need separate insurance.