Here are the worst summer destinations for car rental shortages
Pandemic-weary Americans planning their trips after vaccination may run into rental car shortages when visiting certain summer hotspots, according to a new analysis.
Hometown visitors to Disney World could encounter the biggest problems caused by a broken rental car network that is driving rental prices soaring - if there is any inventory to rent, according to insurer Allianz Partners USA, which has more than US $ 236,000 - Car rental reservations analyzed has made at airports between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Read more: Top 4 travel destinations for summer 2021
After Orlando, Florida, the next hottest rental destinations in descending order include:
"The increased demand has led to significant price increases for rental cars in popular summer destinations," said Daniel Durazo, Marketing and Communications Director at Allianz Partners USA.
People wait inside the car rental Enterprise at the Miami International Airport Car Rental Center in Miami, Florida on April 12, 2021. Customers are finding that car rental companies have limited or no vehicle coverage as people start traveling again after being banned during the pandemic. (Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images)
The weakened warehouse network is a result of the pandemic when car rental companies sold their fleets last year to minimize overhead, Jonathan Weinberg, founder and CEO of AutoSlash, previously told Yahoo Money. But that floored them when demand spiked in 2021 as domestic travel restrictions eased.
"The car rental companies simply underestimated the demand, the number of people who wanted to leave," Weinberg previously told Yahoo Finance Live.
As the travel industry recovers quickly, businesses cannot keep up with customer needs, and the imbalance between supply and demand leads to exorbitant daily rental rates and sell-offs. In certain places like Hawaii, available cars were renting for up to $ 500 a day, a far cry from the bargain of $ 5 a day in 2020, Weinberg said. In the entire sun belt, prices have also risen steadily since winter.
In Hawaii, some visitors even turn to vans as an alternative. (Photo: Getty)
Read more: Summer trip 2021: Tips for a car rental
If rental car availability is weighing on your decision about vacationing this summer, know that there are alternatives to buying bikes outside of traditional rental cars. Where rental car prices have increased, the popularity of peer-to-peer car sharing marketplaces has followed.
Platforms like Getaround and Turo connect car owners with tenants and bypass the need for rental car companies. They reported "strong demand" as bookings "more than doubled", Pat Notti, vice president of market and operations at Getaround, told Yahoo Finance. In Hawaii, some visitors are even turning to moving trucks and vans as alternatives.
"We have seen a significant increase in U-Haul rentals from customers visiting the islands now," Kaleo Alau, president of the U-Haul Company in Hawaii, previously told Yahoo Money. "We understand that this demand arises when tourists cannot secure rental cars or when they learn that our rental fleet options are cheaper."
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Stephanie is a reporter for Yahoo Money and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.
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