Consumers are paying about $40 a day more than they did in 2019, according to AAA. This is in addition to limited supply and high demand.
SAN DIEGO — This summer, many Americans are venturing back into the world, traveling. But many who seek to escape find themselves stuck when trying to rent a car.
Major car rental companies such as Hertz and Enterprise are struggling to keep up with high consumer demand.
Earlier this year, Gabby Rodriguez booked her flight to San Diego from Florida. She says she knew she would need a car to get around because she planned to take a trip with her.
“So I couldn’t just rely on public transport. But when I found myself looking for this car, I just couldn’t find anything available,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez tried to book a rental car with Enterprise only to find out that there were no cars available for the date she needed.
“I had to find other ways to get around, which were also expensive and not everyone could afford,” Rodriguez added.
The low supply affects not only those traveling for leisure, but also for business and unexpected trips.
If you manage to find a car, it will probably come at a price. According to AAA, consumers are paying about 40% more per day for rentals than they did in 2019.
In a statement to CBS 8, Hertz said the following:
“Hertz is working closely with our automotive partners to add new vehicles to our fleet, purchasing low-mileage vehicles, pre-owned vehicles and moving vehicles to areas of highest demand to support our customers during the ongoing microchip shortage that continues to impact the car rental industry.
We’re seeing strong demand this summer, especially in tourist destinations like San Diego, California. We advise customers to book as early as possible and arrange other trips at the same time. Another tip is to consider booking at a neighborhood car rental location that may have more availability when airport volumes are high. Hertz has thousands of neighborhoods across the country.”
In the case of Pietro Galli, who travels a lot for work, he says he has tried many places and still has not been able to find a rental car, even though he has tried to book in advance.
“I’ve tried booking at every single Hertz location in the area, talking about more than 7 locations – not one available,” Galli said.
In a statement to CBS 8 Enterprise said the following:
“Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car are seeing strong demand for rental cars during the busy summer tourist season. Likewise, with more people driving to their destinations, resulting in more people on the road, we continue to see an increase in those needing a rental as a temporary replacement for their personal vehicles.
While we are seeing significant improvement in our fleet availability year-on-year, a key challenge currently continues to be global chip shortages and other supply chain constraints that impact all industries, including new car availability. However, our teams work closely with our manufacturing partners to continually add new vehicles to our fleet to meet the most critical transportation needs of our customers, insurance and business partners.
Reserving a vehicle as early as possible for future travel continues to be critical. We also encourage people to check back if their desired reservation is not available, as travel plans and reservations often change and reservations may become available. Additionally, providing flexible dates and branch pickup locations in your search can help increase your options. To help streamline booking, Enterprise.com has a feature that helps redirect customers to other nearby options – if available – during the online booking process when booking if their chosen option does not show vehicle availability” said a company representative.
Both Rodriguez and Galli say more needs to be done to ensure customers’ needs are met.
“If rental cars are going to be such a big problem, then public transport needs to be much more reliable than it is at the moment. And that’s not the case in many parts of the county,” Rodriguez added.
If you have trouble renting a car, here it is are alternatives.
Try the following car rental companies:
If you want to drive electric, try: Gig Car Share.
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