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Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

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Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

Old 04-02-21, 09:10 AM
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Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

This really fucking sucks. COVID nearly killed the car rental industry and customers are now facing sky high prices. Per the linked Forbes article, when no one was traveling last year, the industry was hit hard. In order to make ends meet, the companies sold off a large chunk of their fleet. Now that people are getting vaccinated and starting to make travel plans again, these companies don't have the inventory to meet the demand. They don't have enough cars and the ones they do they are charging ridiculous amounts to rent.

This is horrible for me since I rent a car pretty much every time I travel, but I won't be able to afford to travel if it costs me hundreds of dollars to rent a car for a few days (and that's if one is even available).

https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabe...h=3af8e04a223e
Old 04-02-21, 09:19 AM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

I have noticed this too. I got a 7 day one way rental last year for $200. Reserved a week long trip in Vegas with a Jeep for 9 days for like $750.

WEnt to rent a car for a month in the summer, they wanted $1,7000!!!!!!!!! That should normally be maybe $500 max. No idea who is going to pay these prices. For that cost, I might as well buy a used car.
Old 04-02-21, 09:20 AM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

That's insane. Definitely check the local car dealerships, a bunch (especially Toyota) rent cars directly.
Old 04-02-21, 09:27 AM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

It was a great time to buy a used car from a rental company.
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Old 04-02-21, 09:29 AM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

^ It is. My buddy bought one from Avis late last year, had nearly no miles on it, in perfect shape and dirt cheap.
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Old 04-02-21, 09:31 AM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

I would imagine this will get sorted as people travel more and supply needs to once again meet demand. Not sustainable to piss people off and turn customers away.
Old 04-02-21, 10:55 AM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

We've bought our last few vehicles from Enterprise Car Sales and I never want to buy a car from anyone else again, it was so good.

Seems like something short-sighted and/or desperate happened in these business moves, ugh.
Old 04-02-21, 11:18 AM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

I've never bought a used rental car before, but I've heard it's the best used car deal out there. The rental companies always have the routine maintenance done (can you say that for sure about a car once owned by an individual, or worse, a car once LEASED?), and they're usually rented by people just going from hotels to either business meetings or tourist spots. Not a lot of hard miles on them.

People think that because renters "beat the hell out of the cars" ala Jerry Seinfeld and put the absolute cheapest gas in them that they're below average quality, but apparently that's just not true at all.
Old 04-02-21, 11:25 AM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

I guess this explains why the rental car prices in Hawaii are so high. Damn, what a mess. Do a driving vacation with your own car to save a few bucks I guess.
Old 04-02-21, 12:18 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

I think it depends on location. I took a 4 day trip to Pittsburgh and got my normal Gold member rate of about $200 total. That’s airport pricing including taxes. So not really bad.

Only disappointment, is much, much less options in the “Presidents Circle” (I know, 3rd world problems). I use to grabbing something fun or different. Volvo, Jeep, Mustang, really nice mid-sized SUV. I ended up with a tiny Buick SUV. I mean it was clean and all I needed. But use to a bit more.
Old 04-02-21, 12:27 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

....yea, this isn't applicable to you business travelers with VIP memberships to rental companies.
Old 04-02-21, 12:54 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

I have a trip planned for July, and reserved my car 2 months ago. Was pretty cheap. I used autoslash.com to knock the price down even more over the first few weeks. Now, the same rental is going for almost twice what I am paying.

Glad I got on it with my travel reservations!
Old 04-02-21, 12:56 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

I think it's funny that people complain. Supply and demand... is it any different when San Diego hotel rates go up 300% during Comic-con?
Old 04-02-21, 01:03 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
I guess this explains why the rental car prices in Hawaii are so high. Damn, what a mess. Do a driving vacation with your own car to save a few bucks I guess.
I donít typically use their services but I wonder how much Lyft and Uber will increase this summer in tourist spots.
Old 04-02-21, 01:06 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
I think it's funny that people complain. Supply and demand... is it any different when San Diego hotel rates go up 300% during Comic-con?
I once bought airline tickets to visit my sister in Indianapolis, and they were strangely expensive. It turned out that she scheduled the family get-together during Gencon.
Old 04-02-21, 01:26 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

Originally Posted by Osiris3657 View Post
....yea, this isn't applicable to you business travelers with VIP memberships to rental companies.
It was a personal trip....not business.

However, since the Pandemic started, my company has given us the option to drive for travel if we didnít feel comfortable flying. I imagine that will be the new norm.

I know some of my peers had trouble getting a rental in Phoenix. Low inventory and spring training baseball sucked up all rentals.

Like I say, I think a location issue. With vacation spots being hit the hardest.
Old 04-02-21, 01:37 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

Originally Posted by Paff View Post
I've never bought a used rental car before, but I've heard it's the best used car deal out there. The rental companies always have the routine maintenance done (can you say that for sure about a car once owned by an individual, or worse, a car once LEASED?), and they're usually rented by people just going from hotels to either business meetings or tourist spots. Not a lot of hard miles on them.

People think that because renters "beat the hell out of the cars" ala Jerry Seinfeld and put the absolute cheapest gas in them that they're below average quality, but apparently that's just not true at all.
Well, the cars that are sold through enterprise car sales directly are the ones that have much less mileage: the beaters all go to local dealerships. So while it is true that rentals get beaten up, those are mainly sold on used car lots and not directly.

I did see the news item (since the Love's story hit, I've subscribed to KHON's youtube channel) about the rentals in Hawaii being sky high. It'll be interesting what this does to the rental industry because I'd think Uber and Lyft took a bunch of their market even pre COVID, at least for vacation stuff.
Old 04-02-21, 01:48 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

Originally Posted by jpcamb View Post
I would imagine this will get sorted as people travel more and supply needs to once again meet demand. Not sustainable to piss people off and turn customers away.
Maybe not as quickly as people may like. There is a global chip shortage which is also affecting car manufacturing.
Old 04-02-21, 02:11 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

My biggest fear is that even though I have a reservation, I show up to the airport and they don't have a car.

Old 04-02-21, 02:12 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

State investigating, says its extremely concerned about dramatic increases in car rental prices

Old 04-02-21, 02:18 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
It was a personal trip....not business.

However, since the Pandemic started, my company has given us the option to drive for travel if we didn’t feel comfortable flying. I imagine that will be the new norm.

I know some of my peers had trouble getting a rental in Phoenix. Low inventory and spring training baseball sucked up all rentals.

Like I say, I think a location issue. With vacation spots being hit the hardest.
Point is that most travelers don't have these memberships that you pay for. Let me guess, your company pays for the membership but you take advantage of it for personal travel as well? Things sure are nice for Sdallnct! How about providing your membership ID so the rest of us can get in on those low prices we wouldn't normally have access to?

And no, it's not just vacation spots. This is everywhere. I certainly wouldn't call Kansas City a vacation spot, but I looked into booking a rental there over the summer and it would be, at minimum, $300 for not even 3 days. Total bullshit.
Old 04-02-21, 02:26 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
I think it's funny that people complain. Supply and demand... is it any different when San Diego hotel rates go up 300% during Comic-con?
Oh please. There's a difference between supply and demand and just fucking people over. These companies are reaming customers and the prices are not justifiable.

Did you also side with those assholes who bought up all the hand sanitizer during the start of the pandemic and sold it for 100times the price?
Old 04-02-21, 02:38 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
I donít typically use their services but I wonder how much Lyft and Uber will increase this summer in tourist spots.
Yeah, I think that will be the answer for a lot of people. While not cheap, rideshares will be a hell of a lot cheaper than $1000 a day for a car rental.
Old 04-02-21, 02:47 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

Originally Posted by Osiris3657 View Post
Oh please. There's a difference between supply and demand and just fucking people over. These companies are reaming customers and the prices are not justifiable.

Did you also side with those assholes who bought up all the hand sanitizer during the start of the pandemic and sold it for 100times the price?
Not trying to start a fight here, but the guys who bought the hand sanitizer did it to gouge people off of a crisis. They artificially removed the supply when the demand went up so they could profit. The rental companies were losing millions with no one renting their cars, so they sold inventory to cushion some of their losses. They didn't sell the cars with the intention of charging $600-$1000 a day for a car. These astronomical prices for cars...a lot of it is going to get redirected at buying more inventory. The rental companies know their business is not sustainable at $1000 a day for a car. And if one of them thinks that, their competition will put them out of business as soon as they can increase their inventory and lower their daily rate.

As a few have mentioned, people avoiding the rental cars for rideshares will lower the price of the rentals as demand moves to other options.
Old 04-02-21, 02:55 PM
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Re: Be wary, travelers. The rental car apocalypse is upon us

A single data point: I just tried reserving a car out of LAX airport next week. The price was around $200 for the week,, which is normal for a 5 day rental this time of year. I did this both from my car rental account and from a Firefox incognito tab.

Last edited by Kevin Phillips; 04-03-21 at 04:50 AM.

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