Car Rental Average Daily Price Up $35 Just Since December 2019


Car Rental Average Daily Price Up $35 Just Since December 2019

The specter of rising prices won’t take a vacation. Prices for rental cars have been high for long stretches of the pandemic—we last wrote about the trend in October—but the new year doesn’t seem like it will bring any immediate relief.


The problem lies in the fact there just aren’t as many rental cars available these days, caused in part by a large selloff of rental cars in the early part of 2020 as the pandemic started. That selloff hasn’t been replaced by new vehicles entering the rental fleets. According to Auto Rental News, a trade publication that tracks the industry, the U.S. car rental industry added just over 725,000 new vehicles to their fleets in 2021, a 9 percent drop compared to 2020. But compared to the times before the pandemic, it’s a more major drop, around 58 percent.


The industry added almost 1,739,000 vehicles in 2019. By tracking car rental company sales by month, Auto Rental News was able to see that the pandemic had an impact, of course, but the real damage to availability of rental cars in the U.S. was caused by the semiconductor chip shortage. That’s not a surprise, but the numbers might be. In a normal year, ARN said, rental companies would buy around 800,000 cars in the fourth quarter. In 2021, though, they bought just 94,000 units. ARN is not saying then things might get back to normal, but it is expecting rental fleet sales to “stay depressed through most of 2022.”


For the full story, check out this article from Car And Driver.


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