Get Ready for Some More Pain If You Need to Rent a Car

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The good news is that America is intent on getting back to normal. The bad news is that there is now a high demand for things like rental cars, especially in certain parts of the country. And the shortages in rental companies across the nation are probably going to continue through the summer months because of demand and supply chain problems.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the demand for rental cars is expected to remain high so people should book their car as early as possible and be ready for high prices in popular vacation destinations.

An analysis was recently published by Destination Analysts. They said that Americans are more excited to travel over the next 12 months than they have been throughout the pandemic season.

“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%),” Destination Analysts wrote.

This is because people in the United States are expressing great optimism about the future trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, according to their analysis, optimism rose 10 points to 51.2%, and the number of people concerned about the virus has also significantly dropped.

So, demand is rising and supply chain issues are making inventory difficult. But you have to add to these the fact that rental car companies sold a large part of the inventory off in the early part of the pandemic. Now, they are quickly trying to resupply their stock of vehicles.

The Wall Street Journal reported, “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 founder and chief executive officer of AutoSlash, Jonathan Weinberg, believes that customers can expect costs this spring to be about 50% higher than they were in 2019. His company is a site that finds deals for customers on rental cars. He also gave a little history to the rising costs of renting a car in America. The cost in the summer of 2021 was 75% more than it was in the summer of 2019.

People could expect to pay even more this summer, especially in places like Alaska, Montana, and Hawaii. Vehicles are especially scarce in those areas.

According to Kayak, a popular site from which to rent cars, the price a week before Easter in 2019 was $56 a day. But this year the same car may cost $83 a day for the week before Easter. And in 2020 it was just $64 a day.

The Wall Street Journal offered some good advice for the customer who is looking for the best deals on rental cars. They said that you have to plan first; you should call companies directly instead of using sites like Expedia or Orbitz, and do your best to find any discounts that may be available.

The frugal consumer should also keep track of prices, they can go up and down in a matter of hours. You could also look into the newer car-sharing service opportunities. And the final piece of advice from the Journal was to check sites that are not located at the airport.

Here is one more tip from William P. Davis, the assistant editor on The New York Times’ business desk in Los Angeles: Review all the paperwork you sign. You might need to push back on some hidden and unwanted charges.