It’s common for a car rental agency to require an additional purchase of insurance before you can rent a car. But the companies that own and operate some major airports are now requiring a minimum amount of insurance before they’ll even let you rent one. This practice has been going on for several years now, but now it’s reached crisis status.
Like the current president, we’re struggling to find ways to continue to fund our country’s infrastructure. And like the current president, airports are preventing us from doing so by raising fees on travelers to help pay for the cost of airport improvements. So, what should we do?
Renting a car is an expensive and somewhat confusing experience. You can go with a bigger car for more comfort, or a compact car for more maneuverability. Some cars come with premium safety features and extra convenience features that others lack, and then there are the fees. To make matters worse, you’re entering a complicated lease agreement in which you agree to pay a set fee (or monthly amount) for the length of the rental period, even though you may only use the car for a few hours during that time. So you need to decide if the cost is worth it, and in the case of rental cars, how much is too much.
We’re In An Unprecedented Rental Car Crisis – And Airports Are Deliberately Making It Worse
by Gary Leff on June 1, 2021 Everyone thought the pandemic was going to last longer and be worse for the economy, and made plans that they’ve now come to regret. Rental car companies sold off their fleets. Cars are scarce because manufacturers didn’t order the chips they’d need. So we’re looking at long rental car lines, and in some cases sky high prices up to $600 a day. The cost of rental cars is actually holding back the travel recovery, imposing costs on airlines, hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues and other attractions. People are renting cars from dealerships, renting U-Hauls, and skipping rentals altogether in favor of Uber and Lyft – which themselves are seeing a driver shortage and raising prices. This should be the ideal time for solutions like Turo and Avail to step into the breach, allowing people to rent out their personal cars to visitors. Except incumbents rental agencies like their sky high rates, and airports like the slice off the top of car rentals that they take. And so we’re seeing airports cracking down on services that help travelers connect with underutilized cars. Avail offers free parking at the airport, and rents out cars while travelers are gone. The traveler gets a cut, and if their car doesn’t rent they get it back washed. They use an off-airport lot and a shuttle to the airport in Salt Lake City – but the airport shut them down by requiring the lot and shuttle provider to stop working with them. The airport’s director says he shut them out because they won’t pay a percentage as pizzo (they’re lucky it doesn’t wind up in a bust out. Shane Andreasen, a director at the Salt Lake City airport, said his office has been trying since Avail’s beginnings to get it to sign a car rental operating agreement. “They don’t view themselves as a rental car company, and they so far have refused to sign our agreement,” Andreasen said. “We have an obligation to treat similarly situated tenants the same. … We can’t give one of them a competitive advantage over the other, and that’s really what they’re looking for.” The airport director even flat out acknowledges it’s a protection racket to keep revenue flowing to car rental companies, explaining “They pay a significant amount of rent, so we’re always looking to preserve their revenue stream.” Avail for its part say rental cars don’t pay a tax for parking but they have to, so the airport wants to double tax them. Denver airport has at least discounted the pizzo, taking “a daily $10 per parking stall fee plus 5% of the company’s local revenue” instead of 10%. Even if you aren’t renting through Avail or Turo, the long line you’re facing at the rental counter or the wait you’re subjected to hoping someone returns their car to the place you rented from is still because of this crackdown since other people who are waiting there too and driving up rental prices might have rented from Avail or Turo. This should be a good reminder that airports rarely have the best interests of passengers in mind. That’s because passengers aren’t the airport’s customer. Remember that Dallas Fort-Worth and Chicago O’Hare took out moving walkways because forcing passengers to walk longer distances makes it more likely they’ll drop into shops along the way rather than skipping over them. Airports take a slice of retail revenue, price the more money passengers spend the higher the lease rates airports can charge.
More From View from the Wing
When you think of the typical rental car, you probably picture a Toyota Camry. However, the average American doesn’t own a car, and the majority of Americans rent vehicles when they travel. According to AAA, more than 75% of Americans rent cars when they travel, and this number grows every year.. Read more about weekly car rentals under $100 and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there a rental car shortage?
The rental car industry has been in a serious crunch for the last few years. According to Car Rental News’s August 2013 Rentals Report, there are only 12,000 new car rentals listed on the road. That’s only about 1,200 more than the number of cars on the road two years ago, and it’s the lowest number of new rentals listed on the road since 2005. To put that number in perspective, there are a lot more new cars on the road in 2013 than in 2005, when the number of new cars was 17,000. Let’s take a look at the current rental car market. From January to April 2018, the average weekly rental car rate in the U.S. rose nearly 10 percent. As you can imagine, that’s a significant jump. In fact, the average rental car rate has risen by about 50 percent since 2010. And—let’s face it—that’s a lot. So why are rental car companies experiencing such a dramatic increase in demand?
Why are rental cars so expensive right now 2020?
Americans spend a lot of money on cars, but most of us don’t think about how much we spend on renting them, especially when we aren’t using them. In fact, if you’re renting a car in the US, you’re probably paying way more than you should. If you’re planning a vacation or have just bought a new car, you know that renting a car can be outrageously expensive; both for the car, and for the people you are traveling with. Unlike other countries, America has a reputation of being the most expensive country to rent cars in, which is why many people stay home rather than fly across the country to visit a friend or family member. It’s not hard to see why.
Why is it so hard to get a rental car right now?
The rental car market has been largely free of major disruptions during the past several years, but that’s apparently going to change soon. In this article, I’ll explain why we’re about to suffer through a major crisis, and I’ll also explain how the airlines are using deliberately made-up problems to blame the car rental companies for the situation. It’s a common misconception that renting a car is one of the easiest things in the world. They’re actually notoriously difficult to get, and getting one right now is about as easy as getting a parking ticket. The reason for this is simple: rental car companies are sitting on a gold mine of unsold cars.
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