WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Zero to 60. As travel picks back up, the car rental industry is seeing a boom in business. Rental car companies struggling to keep up with the demand.
“A lot of the rental car companies during COVID had liquidated a lot of their fleets because they weren’t renting as many cars and so it’s created a real demand for people trying to get cars,” explained Jay Dill, owner of the Travel Junkie.
The national rental car shortage is causing costs to surge and forcing renters like Jessica Lockwood to rethink plans.
“I was not going to pay that to come to Kansas for our first time for three days and pay $400 for a car that I may drive 30 miles.”
While she lucked out with a deal online, that is not the case for everyone.
“The guy before me that (rented) one at the counter paid $400 for a smaller car than what we got,” Lockwood said.
Dill says the shortage has even caused some to cancel.
“They ended up scrapping the trip because the rental car was like twice what the airfare was.”
Rental company, Hertz, tells KSN they are working on a solution.
“Hertz is working closely with our automotive partners to add new vehicles to our fleet as quickly as possible while also moving vehicles to the areas with highest demand.”
Meanwhile, if you are planning to travel soon, Dill’s biggest tip is to book as soon as possible.
“The earlier you can book. The earlier you can plan, the more availability you’ll have and the better pricing you’ll get.”
Hertz expects this demand to last several months and throughout the Summer. They suggest looking into neighborhood rental locations instead of airports for better availability.