Rental rush: car rental costs are rising in major cities


Toronto, Ontario — Delightfully dubbed the Carpocalypse, many North American cities are facing soaring rental car prices, a persistent phenomenon in 2021 that can be blamed on the supply chain

Demand for rental vehicles rebounded. However, many rental operators have struggled to reach pre-pandemic fleet levels due to the current supply chain crisis, said Mathan Selven, managing director of Distinct Rent-a-Car during of an interview with the Toronto Star.

While not universal at all rental locations, other Toronto operators like Avis Canada and Enterprise Rent-A-Car were fully booked for the upcoming weekend.

According to Statistics Canada, the non-existent demand was met by the downsizing of many car rental agencies at the start of the pandemic. While demand increased in late 2020 and 2021, few companies were prepared for this boom. Supply chain issues and global material shortages have slowed fleet resupply, causing prices to spike.

In British Columbia, the number of rental vehicles remained around 22,450 between 2020 and 2021. Coupled with growing demand, the consumer price index for rental vehicles in Canada rose by 33% in 2021.

With no relief from supply chain shortages, expect prices to rise through the end of summer.

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