Many people are planning to travel this holiday season and many are hoping to use rental cars to get around. According to the KAYAK travel website, online car rental searches are up 230% from 2019 and 243% from 2020.
But car rental companies are running out of cars, having lost huge chunks of their fleet to survive the collapse of their business during the pandemic outbreak. Replenishment was hampered by the same problem plaguing car sales everywhere: a lack of supply due to a shortage of semiconductor chips.
âThe increase in demand for rental cars is something we’ve seen all summer long, and KAYAKthe data shows that demand is not going to slow anytime soon, especially as we enter the holiday season, âsaid Girogos Zacharia, president of KAYAK.
The cost of car rental is on the rise
Naturally, this means that not only will it be difficult to find a car to rent, but when you do, it will cost more. Different sources give different averages, but they all agree that prices are on the rise.
According to AAA spokesperson Ellen Edmonds, daily car rental rates are up 4% from last Thanksgiving to $ 98.
Travel planning app company Hopper.com Spokeswoman Lindsay Schwimer said: âCurrently, the national average daily rate for rental cars is (roughly) $ 84 per day, down 31% from summer highs of $ 122 per day, but still up 68% from $ 50 per day at the start of the year. The prices are closer to $ 93 per day if you only consider the major domestic suppliers. Prices rose to around $ 95 per day in mid-October (possibly due to fall travel), but have since come down a bit and have fallen through November.
Schwimer added: âWe expect rental car prices to rise sharply again during the holidays with high demand as supply remains a constraining factor. “
The most and cheapest car rental locations
According to KAYAK, rental prices vary from city to city and from stay to stay. In general, New York and Hawaii are the most expensive places to rent cars while on vacation.
âRental cars in Hawaii have always been expensive (given its island nature, shipping cars there is expensive) but demand is outstripping supply right now as more tourists flock to the island. which makes rental cars more expensive than usual, “Zacharia said. However, the market is a weird thing. Honolulu is the cheapest place, according to KAYAK, to rent a car for Thanksgiving.
According to KAYAK, the most expensive auto markets for Thanksgiving this year are:
- New York, NY – $ 135 per day (Here, KAYAK says you can save 9% by picking up your vehicle in town rather than at the airport.)
- Charleston, SC – $ 123 per day (You can save 17% by picking up in the city.)
- Brooklyn, NY – $ 118 per day
- El Paso, TX – $ 118 per day (You can save 23% by picking you up from the airport rather than the airport.)
- Asheville, NC – $ 112 per day (You can save 8% by collecting in the city.)
The cheapest car rental markets for Thanksgiving are:
- Honolulu, HI – $ 66 per day
- Boise, ID – $ 69 per day
- Miami, Florida – $ 70 per day
- Oakland, CA – $ 70 per day
- Sacramento, CA – $ 73 per day
The most expensive car rentals for Christmas this year are:
- Bozeman, MT – $ 229 per day
- Lihue, HI – $ 186 per day
- Jackson, WY – $ 184 per day
- Maui, HI – $ 171 per day
- Salt Lake City, UT – $ 152 per day
And the cheapest car rental markets for Christmas are:
- Sacramento, CA – $ 67 per day
- Anchorage, AK – $ 69 per day
- Oakland, CA – $ 80 per day
- Seattle, WA – $ 81 per day
- San Diego, CA – $ 82 per day
Need to rent a car ? Do these things
If you can travel to a place where you can use your own car or borrow one from your destination, you can avoid the problem altogether. If these options aren’t realistic, in addition to KAYAK’s suggestion that you sometimes pick up your vehicle outside of the airport, Schwimer has offered tips for people who need to hire cars while traveling:
- Book early. With a shortage of rental cars, demand, and prices set to be high, Hopper recommends booking your rental car as early as possible (along with your vacation flights) to ensure availability and lower prices.
- Check nearby airports. Most major international airports are experiencing high demand for car rentals, Hopper said. âWe recommend that you check small airports nearby that might have stock still available near your destination. For example, check the Fort Lauderdale airport rather than Miami International.
- Find exclusive rates. Try a booking app like Hopper. Since Hopper is an app only, car rental companies send exclusive Hopper rates which are cheaper than travel websites.
Try a carsharing service
As traditional car rental companies struggle to meet customer needs, another business model has emerged to meet demand. As Airbnb offers people’s properties as alternatives to hotels and Uber and Lyft have exploited private car drivers to compete with taxis, peer-to-peer car-sharing services like Turo, Move and DriveShare allow people to provide their personal vehicles for rental.
Turo spokeswoman Alexandra Mao said guests âtold us Turo hosts registered their summer travel plans during the rental crisis, many of whom were seeing family and friends for the first time. times for almost a year, and our hosts are ready to start over. this holiday season.
Mao said Turo has increased its number of electric vehicles, which are an attractive alternative for people worried about rising fuel costs.