Rental car shortage: Summer travel forecast calls for longer waits, fewer choices

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CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — As more Americans venture out for post-lockdown vacations, they may find that the rental car for that trip may be more expensive.

Experts cite several factors including a basic shortage of rental cars since many were sold during the pandemic.

Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom, said prices are even higher in popular tourist destinations like Hawaii and Florida.

“First and foremost, the rental car industry sold off more than 770,000 vehicles during the pandemic because there was no demand for them. So that actually means that only one in three cars that were available pre-pandemic are available right now. The other thing is the shortage on workers,” said Kaufman.

She suggested that for people who are looking to avoid the sky high prices should see if memberships with certain companies like Costco or AAA can help access lower prices.

Kaufman also added one other tip for those looking to avoid long lines at the rental counter.

“My recommendation is that you join the loyalty program of whatever rental car company you’re using ahead of time. That way you can skip the line at the counter and go right out to the kiosk, get into your car and drive away,” said Kaufman.

She believes prices will even out once peak vacation season passes, especially after the major holidays of Memorial day and the 4th of July.

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