BOSTON (CBS) – With more people returning to the roads and skies this summer, it may come as no surprise as the demand for car rentals is skyrocketing. That means a smaller supply and higher prices for consumers.
Newlyweds Drew and Austin Swigar are heading north to Maine using their rental car to tour the coast for their honeymoon. The couple is relieved they planned this trip back in January. “We booked it probably early enough that we got ahead of that rush,” said Austin Swigart.
But others are finding themself right in the middle of the rush to find a rental car. “We checked prices about a week or two beforehand, made a U-turn and canceled our original rental reservation and got a different one,” said Robert Schein.
Sticker shock is the reaction from most travelers at Logan Airport’s Car Rental Center. “One thousand eight hundred eighty-four dollars for five days is pretty expensive,” said Brandon Melanson.
According to AAA, daily car rental prices are up 86% compared to this same time last year, costing upwards of $166 a day! “There is pent-up demand, and people are booking, and people are traveling,” said AAA Northeast Travel Sale Manager Anne Lischwe.
AAA Northeast Travel Sales Manager Anne Lischwe says rentals are hard to come by pretty much everywhere and especially in places like Hawaii and Florida. She expects the trend to continue through the summer and recommends booking as far in advance as you can.
“Sometimes, there is more availability at the airport locations than at some of the more regional ones, so you want to check that, as well,” said Lischwe.
AAA also says you should also be flexible; this could help you secure a car during off-peak times.