Will car rental shortages ease in time for holiday travel? -NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth | MCU Times

Will car rental shortages ease in time for holiday travel? -NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

During the spring and summer travel season, renting a car at your destination may not always have been a given. The stock was low when the need for travel increased in 2021, Willis Orlando explained with Scott’s cheap flights.

“People would buy these cheap flights, arrive at their destination and go to rent a car – which before was a very easy, routine thing to do and found out luck,” Orlando said.

Read on to hear from experts in the travel industry.

“They’re about to be back”

Orlando said an early check of Thanksgiving weekend car rental prices showed they were getting out of heights seen earlier in the year.

“In the summer, when car rental companies had their backs to the wall and struggled to fill demand, they bought new cars, they started rebuilding their supply. Now they are right back where they were before the pandemic, ”said Orlando.

The American Car Rental Association Greg Scott said it is too early to say that things are back to “normal”.

“I hate to sound pessimistic, but it’s not a science. We do not know exactly where it will go, “said Scott.

ACRA, which represents approximately 98% of the car rental industry, estimates that rental companies had 1.7 million cars at the start of the pandemic. When travel slowed in 2020, Scott said the industry sold about half of its fleet. In 2021, car rental companies will buy cars back, though not as many as in the years before the pandemic.

“We still sell cars and buy cars, but the number of cars we buy is far down as an industry. Honestly, the number of cars we want to buy is higher than what we can buy right now, ”Scott explained, pointing to ongoing challenges in the supply chain.

Scott said demand is unpredictable at the same time. COVID-19 variants continue to affect travel, and it is unclear whether business travel will return to pre-pandemic levels.

Late hurricane season and declining harsh weather can also increase the demand for rental cars in certain markets – which can affect the holidays.

Book early

“I think someone who two years ago would arrange their hotel and their airlines six months for their Christmas vacation but wait until the last week or so thinking of a car rental is probably making a mistake,” Scott said.

He recommends that consumers reserve their vehicles when booking flights or hotels.

“Go online, book one now, lock in a great price for yourself. Very often you have free cancellations. If the plans change, you are completely out of the corner, you are fine, ”said Orlando.

Shop around for discounts

Be flexible about the vehicle you want and where to pick up. Consumers may have more luck at a car rental location in the neighborhood compared to an airport counter.

When ordering, look for discount codes that apply to you. The company you work for may receive a discount for employees – also on leisure trips. There may be an alumni discount at your school.

Use loyalty programs through your car rental company, hotel or airline. You can get discounts through memberships in your car club, even a warehouse or a wholesale club. Your credit card can also offer perks.

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