SAN DIEGO — This summer many Americans are venturing back into the world by traveling. But many who are looking to get away are finding themselves stuck when trying to rent a car.
Earlier this year, Gaby Rodriguez booked her flight to San Diego from Florida. She says knew she would need a car to get around because she planned to make a road trip out of it.
"So I couldn’t just rely on public transportation. But when I found myself in search of this car, I just could not find anything available," said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez tried booking the car rental with Enterprise, only to find out there were no cars available for the date she needed it.
"I had to find other ways to get around which were also expensive and not everyone can afford," added Rodriguez.
The low supply is not just affecting those traveling for vacation but also for business and unexpected trips.
If you are able to find a car, it's likely it'll come at a price. According to AAA, consumers are paying about 40% a day more for rentals than in 2019.
In a statement to CBS 8 Hertz said the following:
“Hertz is working closely with our automotive partners to add new vehicles to our fleet, purchasing low-mileage, pre-owned vehicles, and moving vehicles to the areas with highest demand to support our customers during the ongoing microchip shortage that continues to impact the car rental industry.
We’re seeing strong demand this summer, especially in tourist destinations such as San Diego, CA. We advise customers to book as early as possible and at the same time they’re making other travel arrangements. Another tip is to consider booking at a neighborhood car rental location which may have more availability when airport volumes are high. Hertz has thousands of neighborhood locations throughout the country."
In Pietro Galli's case, who travels frequently for business, he says he tried multiple locations and still could not find a rental car even though he tried booking in advance.
“I tried booking in every single Hertz location in the area, which I'm talking about more than seven locations – none available,” said Galli.
In a statement to CBS 8, Enterprise said the following:
"Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car are seeing strong demand for car rental vehicles throughout the busy summer travel season. Likewise, with more people driving to their destinations resulting in more people on the road, we continue to see increases in those needing rentals as a temporary replacement for their personal vehicles.
While we have seen significant improvement in our fleet availability year over year, a key challenge right now continues to be the global chip shortage and other supply chain constraints that are impacting all industries, including new car availability. However, our teams are working closely with our manufacturing partners to continuously add new vehicles into our fleet to meet the most critical transportation needs of our customers, insurance and business partners.
Reserving a vehicle as early as possible for future travel continues to be critical. We also encourage people to check back if their desired reservation is not available as travel plans and reservations often change, and bookings might become available. Additionally, providing flexible dates and branch pick up locations in your search may help to increase your options. To assist in streamlining the reservation, Enterprise.com has a feature that helps redirect customers to other nearby options – if available – during the online reservation process when they are booking if their selected option is showing no vehicle availability," said a representative with the company.
Both Rodriguez and Galli say more needs to be done to ensure costumers needs are met.
“If rental cars are going to be this much of an issue, then public transportation has to be a lot more reliable than it currently is. And that’s not the case in a lot [of] parts of the county," added Rodriguez.
If you’re having trouble renting a car, there are alternatives.
Try the following car rental companies:
If you want to drive electric try: Gig Car Share.
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