Thanksgiving travelers can expect to pay as much as 75 percent more for car rentals this week amid a nationwide shortage of vehicles, sky high gas prices and supply chain headaches.
The average cost per day for a rental car is about 66 percent higher than it was last year and 75 percent higher than 2019 prices, ABC News reported, citing estimates from the travel booking website Kayak.
Jonathan Weinberg, the founder and CEO of Autoslash.com, said consumers are spending as much as $300 per day to rent a car in busy locales such as New York and the average price nationwide is about $100 a day, more than 50 percent higher than it was in 2019.
Compounding the issue is how many travelers will be on the road ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Projections from AAA show that as many as 90 percent of travelers are opting to drive instead of fly, compared to about 80 to 85 percent seen in years prior, which is only driving the price further up with the increased demand.
Ivan Drury, the senior manager of insight at Edmunds, said the automotive industry has been in chaos since the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s leading to sticker shock at the car rental counter.
Around the same time, automakers were forced to shut down factories, and production came to a halt. They halted orders on the semiconductor chips needed to power everything from heated seats to navigation systems, but when the economy bounced back quicker than expected, they weren’t able to procure the crucial parts, Drury explained.
Drury said he expects it’ll take about 1 to 1.5 years for prices to level out.