Apocalypse in the rental car market

The car rental apocalypse begins!

Remember the good old days before the COVID-19 pandemic, when you could plan a trip anywhere and not think about renting a car in advance?

Don’t forget to come to the rental counter at the airport and pick up a free car, or while you are sitting at the departure gate, quickly looking at the specials in order to find a cheap car and the pay at the very last moment when getting on the plane? Those days are over …

Welcome to the reality of 2021 – there is no such thing anymore. Today, renting an average car in traditional US rental cars can cost as much as $ 700 a day as the US travel market has picked up, but you can’t tell. so many rental cars.

Alexander Pershikov, the founder of the international affordable car rental market GetRentacar.com, an AirBnB analogue for car rental, spoke about these changes in the market in 2021.

The lowest price a customer could find for a weekend in Arizona was $ 700 per day. At the same time, the rental price of the Porsche Panamera in Dubai has increased from $ 700 to $ 400, and the price of the new Lamborghini Huracan has increased from $ 1,500 to $ 800 per day. – said Alexander Perchikov.

But even masters of businesses like Rentalcars, AutoSlash are not capable of working wonders today. The United States is experiencing a severe shortage of rental cars due to the pandemic that has hit the world.

It all started with the outbreak of the Covid epidemic a year ago, and rental companies were forced to go into survival mode and sold as many cars as they could. On top of that, large companies like Hertz (which also owns Dollar and Thrifty) and Advantage Rent A Car filed for bankruptcy in 2020, Europcar has embarked on a restructuring.

Popular carpooling will help us!

The only alternative to traditional car rental today is carpooling. Perhaps this is the exact thing that will save your trip and you will find an affordable car for an affordable price. It is important to understand that in popular carpooling, supply will reflect demand, and today the demand is significantly higher than the supply.

How it all began?

Until the end of 2020, this was not a problem as the world was staying at home, the demand for rental cars was very low, so the car rental companies kept their car fleet at a very low level. But with a record number of people vaccinated and an upsurge in travel, the industry has been unable to meet demand in 2021 – and all of this has made it very difficult for travelers due to the high prices and lack of stocks. In addition to the factors of recovery, a huge impact of funds on the global economy is driving and will continue to drive demand for travel.

For example, on a holiday weekend in the United States, entire cities of passenger cars were sold – Tampa, Orlando, Denver. So if you haven’t booked a car a few weeks in advance, you haven’t got it at all.

Then it’s worse!

It has become a random phenomenon and is now becoming a trend of the season.

Several factors complicate this: Americans make record trips on the road, they drive instead of flying, and rent cars instead of taxis and Uber. Additionally, people often take trips across the country, including places like San Juan, Puerto Rico, where there are big inventory issues as well. Another thing that is really causing the demand is the fact that all of those people who might have gone overseas at other times just cannot get there due to travel restrictions. So all Americans today are staying at home and planning trips to the United States, which also puts even more pressure on the market.

Now that the market is facing yet another challenge, it is costly for car rental companies to expand their fleet today due to the lack of semiconductors in the factories of automakers, which is delaying production. new cars. Previously, automakers sold cars to rental companies at prices up to 40% lower. But they don’t do it today because they can sell them for no discount!

How will the trip be?

So what should a traveler do? My advice is to book as early as possible. Check car rental prices in advance so that the price of your car rental does not match the Presidential Room at the Ritz hotel. Perhaps it is the availability of affordable transport that will determine your travel destination in 2021. With the opening up of international air transport, you will not be faced with a shortage of planes or a lack of hotels – they do. have not gone far from the industry and are waiting for you with good prices. What you will be faced with is the lack of transportation for your safe ground trips at affordable prices.

The situation in Russia and Europe

Today, the United States is already facing the problem of lack of inventory in car rentals. Europe still has to face it. While we are happy to see the trend of opening up tourist markets and the current volume of tourists has revealed no difficulty in the collapsed infrastructure of tourism activity. The opening up of countries like China, Great Britain, the United States and Germany will inevitably lead to an increase in the solvent growth of tourist flows to Europe, which will instantly reveal difficulties in the functioning of the tourism market. , especially in countries where the closures have been long and have caused significant damage to small and medium-sized businesses. In Russia, things are more conservative, this is due to the fact that the massive tourist demand was postponed to the summer, but even if already in New Year we saw the increase in car rental prices in Sochi and Vladikavkaz.


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Pamela W. Robbins