Every industry is starting to feel the sting of the global chip shortage. Rental car companies are no different. There are fewer new vehicles on the road because manufacturers can’t get the parts they need. Many rental car companies that rely on having a constant supply of new vehicles can’t keep up with the demand for rental cars. This is made even worse by the fact that more people are traveling than ever. AAA reports that travel during the Memorial Day holiday weekend will increase to over 37 million. Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure you get your rental car despite the shortage.
Book Well Ahead of Time
The best way to ensure that you get a rental car for your travel dates is to book as far ahead of time as you can. Booking at the last minute can leave you with a limited vehicle selection, or worse, no vehicles at all. Due to the rental car shortage, it’s typical for vehicles to be booked out a month in advance. Once you have a solid itinerary for your next trip, contact your preferred rental agency and book a vehicle. If your plans change, you can always contact them ahead of time to adjust your booking. Getting your foot in the door is the most important part.
Try Independent Car Rental Agencies
Corporate rental chains are the hardest to rent from right now. That’s because their business mode involves having a constant supply of new vehicles to cycle out their inventory. They then sell the used vehicles to recoup the value left after the first few years of use. While this sounds good on paper, the chip shortage has thrown a huge monkey wrench into their supply chain. Local, independent rental agencies are much more likely to have vehicles available for rent. While you won’t have a brand new rental car, a well-maintained vehicle from 2019 or earlier will get you to your destination the same as a brand new one.
Book For Longer Terms
With a limited inventory and many renters, rental car chains have to try and get the most bang for their buck. Short term rentals may cost more per day, but rental agencies love when customers book for longer terms. Booking for a week, or even a month, is an excellent way to become a priority client. If you need a rental car for a single day, you might want to consider other modes of transportation. It will wind up costing a lot less than trying to rent a vehicle for a one day.
Avoid Airport Car Rental
While renting from an airport kiosk might seem like a convenient option, there are a few reasons why you should avoid them entirely. Along with having a severely limited vehicle selection, they charge significantly more per day than other rental agencies. Airport car rental companies also have a host of hidden convenience fees and surcharges that take advantage of travelers who are not familiar with the area. The best way to have a rental car ready for when you get off your flight is to book with an independent rental agency in the area. You can then take a rideshare to pick up your car. You’ll wind up saving a lot of money and time overall. No one likes hanging around an airport after they get off a long flight.
Reschedule Your Trip
Although it’s not always possible, rescheduling your trip for the off-season can save you a lot of headaches during the buys travel months. Getting to truly experience your destination without being caught up in a throng of tourists is its own reward. It’s also good to go during the off-season to avoid large crowds during a COVID outbreak. Plus, the car rental shortage will be the worst during popular travel months. If you book during the off-season, you’ll have your pick of the litter. It’s also typical for rental costs to be a lower during the slow months. You could save a bundle, just by planning your vacation or trip for a different time.
Looking For Car Rental in Los Angeles or Pasadena?
Value Rental Car offers clean and affordable rental cars for local driving in Los Angeles and Pasadena, with complimentary pickup and drop off service within seven miles of our two locations. If you’re a college student, we want to help you get on the road. We rent to drivers under the age of 21, and we offer cash and debit card car rentals. Check out some of our other articles to learn more about how car rental works!