The pre-pandemic era indeed seems a lifetime away when planning a family gateway or business trip in 2021. Life was simpler when there were airport rental cars at the ready for affordable rates. As with most things, however, it seems that we have taken our rental car privileges for granted for many years.
Forbes reveals that car rental prices have gone as high as $700 a day. With further startling prices being reported from all across the US. Many travelers who were accustomed to pre-pandemic rates are left distressed on various occasions over the last couple of months.
Since the pandemic paved the way for most US rental companies to make drastic decisions to survive. Hertz who owns the Dollar and Thrifty car rental and Advantage Rent A Car filed for bankruptcy last May. Europcar entered into a restructuring of its business. While the Avis Budget Group which owns Avis and Budget rental car brands had to sell 250,000 of its vehicles after a 40 percent revenue decrease. Avis Budget Group was not alone in deciding to sell off a significant portion of their fleets. Especially following the plunge in customer numbers and revenue, last year.
Post-vaccination travel with car rentals
The low number of vehicles in the industry hardly became a dilemma as the demand had dropped considerably in 2020. But the surge of travel in the post-vaccination period collided with the shortage of rental cars across the US, leaving many companies to offer over-priced rates to unhappy and disappointed travelers.
Despite large-scale vaccination procedures, travelers of the Spring break are cautiously resorting to the Rent-A-Car option. Rather than traveling by air or using taxis or uber. Those who used to travel abroad for vacations are also opting for in-house destinations due to various travel restrictions. All these had added up to the increasing demand for rental cars which the major companies are failing to live up to, at the moment.
Although rental companies are trying to find a faster solution to address the new normal. A separate problem in the auto industry has caused a major setback. Car production companies are stalled by a global undersupply of semiconductors. Following order cuts made at the onset of the pandemic and strong demand from other industries. Even with the forecast that this is only a temporary setback. The shortage had been an effective one, wreaking havoc both in the auto as well as car rental industries.
How to find an affordable rental car?
Almost all major car rental companies including Hertz are advising travelers to book their cars as early as possible. At the same time as their other means of travel are arranged. Opting for safer and considerably unpopular travel destinations within the US is also encouraged. Just to ensure travelers that will secure a hassle-free, clean car to enjoy their well-deserved vacation.