We all know the travel industry has been through a lot in the past year. But we didn’t anticipate how the high demand of getting back to travel in 2021 would affect car rentals. If you’re planning to travel in the near future and will need a rental car, you should book now. Recently, rentals cars have been extremely hard to come by depending on your destination, leading to exorbitant prices.
But why? When the pandemic hit the U.S. a year ago and air travel came to an abrupt halt, rental car companies found themselves with lots full of vehicles and no drivers to get behind the wheel. In turn, the companies began selling their cars in droves in order to generate money to stay afloat financially. According to CNN, more than half a million vehicles have been sold as used cars by the industry over the past 12 months. This represents roughly one-third of all the rental cars in the country.
As the travel industry has yet to fully rebound, rental companies have not had access to the funds to rebuild their fleet of cars. With such little supply, it’s critical to book your rental car as far in advance as possible, especially if you’re traveling during the summer months, which are expected to see an increase in travel.
“We’re seeing a surge in demand for leisure travel in vacation destinations across the industry…Given where the industry was during this time a year ago, we’re happy to help travelers return to the road safely,” Hertz spokesperson Lauren Luster told CNN. “Because of the spike in demand and tighter fleets across the car rental industry, availability may be more limited.”
So what does this mean for you? Like everything we’ve learned and experienced in the past year, we just have to adjust our former way of thinking and the same goes for how you typically rent a car. Think a bit further in advance, book ahead – maybe even before you’re booking your flight or hotel. Book early and book via AAA to save.
Travel safely and remember, AAA members can save up to 20% on Hertz rentals.