Victoria, British Columbia – With the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the increase in the number of people wishing to travel, North America is experiencing a rental car shortage of epic proportions.
Craig Hirota, vice president of government relations and member services at Associated Canadian Car Rental Operators, says the pandemic may be at the root of the rental car shortage.
“Most, if not all of the car rental operators around the world have had to drastically reduce their fleets during the pandemic due to extreme reductions in consumer demand,” Hirota said. “No one was traveling on vacation, and business travel was virtually non-existent. He left a lot of unused vehicles sitting on lots. ”
CAA senior vice president of marketing and communications Gary Howard says one of the major issues is that the pandemic has forced rental locations to ditch vehicles that weren’t in use, and now they’re getting rid of vehicles that weren’t in use. are struggling to meet the rising demand for rental cars.
“The impact is being felt everywhere, at least in tourism hot spots in Canada and the United States,” Howard said. “Most of the fleets are leased, so during the peak of COVID the fleets were dwindling. Now it is coming back, but the car rental companies cannot collect enough vehicles from the fleets. “
Not only is the demand for rental vehicles increasing, but so is the price. A Hamilton resident, Allyson Rowley has rented vehicles often over the years and what used to cost her $ 30 a day is now costing her over $ 60.
“The cost has doubled since before the pandemic,” she said. “I made an ethical and financial choice not to own a car because I mainly walk and cycle and only rent a car when I need it, but it is getting unaffordable.” (SOURCE CTV News)
Car rental companies urge people to book their rental as early as possible to ensure a vehicle will be available.