Summer has finally arrived! Many travelers around the country, are planning to hit the road after being cooped up for the winter and much of 2020 due to the pandemic. Before you take your next trip, be aware that it might not be as easy or affordable as it once was to obtain a rental car.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on the rental car industry from early 2020 through today. Many companies were forced to sell part of their fleet in response to a lack of demand, downsizing to weather the storm. There is also a global microchip and semiconductor shortage that is slowing down many automakers’ ability to make new products in 2021, which ultimately impacts the overall supply of new vehicles available to car rental companies. This has caused a shortage of available vehicles now that the pandemic is on a decline, vaccination availability has increased and people are starting to travel again.
We reached out to our car rental partners at Avis/Budget, Alamo and Hertz to see what advice they have to share for travelers looking to rent a car this summer. Some of their tips include:
- Reserve vehicles as early as possible. To ensure the best fleet availability, please reserve your vehicle at least 2-3 weeks in advance.
- Process cancellations as soon as possible. For proper fleet planning, please be sure travelers process all cancellations early. This will help another person to rent a car that you no longer need to use.
- Notify the rental car company if you plan to keep your rental for longer than originally requested so they can make necessary changes for the next reservation in line for a car.
- Skip the line. Update your profiles with current information, including updated driver’s license and credit card number.
- Download the app for your preferred rental company to skip the line, choose your car and experience a contactless rental.
- Provide flexible dates if possible to increase your options and get the most affordable car available.
We are all excited to hit the road this season, and to reconnect with the people and places that we love. Follow these tips to be as prepared as possible and avoid unexpected surprises when you arrive to your destination.