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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,670

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,724

    Default

    Its certainly a very expensive year to rent a car.

    I was in Hawaii a few weeks ago, while I booked my car a couple months in advance and got a pretty typical and expected rate ($300ish per week) but by the time of my trip, there simply were no cars available to rent at any price. Part of the issue why Hawaii is so bad is that tourism - with mandatory covid testing - has come back much faster than expected, but the car rental companies had shipped large portions of their fleet back to the mainland where they could more easily be used or sold.

    I've rented once on the mainland as well this spring, and while I was able to take advantage of a discount to get a decent price, the regular base rate was going for around $80 or 90 a day for a standard sedan instead of the $30-40 I would have normally expected.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,108

    Default

    I just checked a one week local Avis rental with AARP discount - with no options, with fees and taxes it came to $550 for a full size car (Kia Optima), smaller cars are insignificantly less ($5 or so). This is roughly double what it would have been a couple years ago.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,106

    Default The First Law of Economics

    As noted in a separate thread, for an upcoming trip I found the car rental (for a week) to be about double what I would have expected, but cars were available. Oddly enough mid-sized cars were cheaper than compacts or even subcompacts. Again that's probably due to supply and demand issues. On the other hand, the plane tickets were surprisingly low-cost (not quite the same as cheap) so the two charges sort of canceled each other out. While the rental companies can sell off excess cars, it's much tougher to sell off excess planes.

    The main thing to keep in mind, I think, is that you'll need to remain flexible with your travel plans until the economic impacts of the COVID pandemic sort themselves out and travel returns to 'normal', probably not until next Spring.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,724

    Default

    It should be noted that the rental car market is kind of getting squeezed from both sides. The demand for rental cars is growing quickly, as it deals with the large influx of people who have started to travel after putting off their travels over the past year. Those car rental companies did sell off relatively large chunks of their fleets, but do to the shortage of computer chips affecting the entire auto industry (and driving up prices in the car buying market as well), they can't replace those cars as quickly and easily as usual.

    I will say, with airfare prices, those feel like those are quickly resuming to fairly typical rates. There were some fantastic deals available back in the first few months of the year. I booked that trip to Hawaii for airfare about 1/2 of what it would have been in previous years, and back in March, I booked my summer trip for a great deal. However, when I'm looking at tickets now, those deals are much harder to find.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,670

    Default

    Our daughters are coming for a quick trip in mid-June, mostly to say goodbye to the house and to the California area that they grew up in. They found pretty reasonable rates for fares, as long as they didn't mind arriving in San Diego in time for Rush Hour (on my last day of work) and leaving San Diego at 6:30 am (yawn! on my first day of retirement!). Fortunately, they do not have to rent a car - we have a spare that they can use while they are here. I'm sure that San Diego is included in the places where there aren't too many rental cars available. The two agencies here in town haven't had a lot of cars on their lot.


    Donna

  7. #7

    Default

    I just reserved our rental car for Puerto Rico in January. Price has more than doubled and will approach the combined costs of lodging and flights. I usually make a reservation far in advance and modify it a few times, usually cutting it down by 30 percent or so. This time the savings will likely come from cutting back the trip time by a week or so. Needless to say, "sticker shock!" Unfortunately, a rental car is needed for getting around the Island and especially for me, to driving to surfing break based upon wave size, swell direction, and wind direction.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by landmariner View Post
    I just reserved our rental car for Puerto Rico in January. Price has more than doubled and will approach the combined costs of lodging and flights. I usually make a reservation far in advance and modify it a few times, usually cutting it down by 30 percent or so.
    May be possible that will happen with this as well. Obviously they are charging the current rates now, but if the situation improves (as seems likely over a 6+month period) they may have more to offer as the trip gets closer, and thus start offering better deals where you could book one of those and cancel the more costly one you now have.

  9. #9

    Default

    I also made an airport off-site reservation on one car class larger for half the price of the airport location. The fees for airport pick-up are WAY out of line.

    TIME & DISTANCE, 3 WEEKLY @ $485.00, $1,455.00
    EXTRA - TIME & DISTANCE, 5 DAILY @ $69.29, $346.45

    Fees: $341.18
    ADDL CUSTOMER FACILITY CHG $.35/DAY. $9.10
    CUSTOMER FACILITY CHARGE $5.48/DAY, $142.48
    CONC REC 11.11 PCT (11.11%), $189.60

    Taxes: $235.49
    IVU STATE TAX (sales tax) (10.5%), $215.01
    IVU MUNICIPAL TAX (1.0%), $20.48

    Savings: COSTCO US MAIN ALAMO (7.0%), -$126.10
    Total: $2,283.22

    Two years ago, total, less than $900.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,106

    Default One 'Trick' if Available

    While off-airport rentals are certainly one way to go to reduce costs, we take a slightly different route. We'll often see significantly lower rates on 'mystery cars' from major on-site companies. The downside to this, obviously, is that you won't know the type of vehicle you'd be getting. So if you need an SUV or minivan, this won't help. But if you just want a car to get around in, this works. What we've found is that the 'mystery car' is almost always a mid-sized sedan with plenty of room for two, and even a small child or two in addition, as long as you're not traveling with steamer trunks full of stuff. The reason the rate is cheaper, usually cheaper than even the smallest sub-compact, is that it gives the rental company some flexibility in making the best use of its fleet. You get whatever they have the most of on the lot, typically mid-sized sedans.

    For our trip this fall, we eventually found a 'mystery car' with a Pay Now option, both of which reduced the price to something that only hurt a little.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 05-23-2021 at 01:59 PM. Reason: Typo

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