The pandemic has wreaked havoc in the rental car industry as companies responded to the plunge in travelers by selling off significant portions of their fleets. With travel rebounding over spring break, many travelers found themselves frustrated, stranded or price-gouged.
The shortage of rental cars is expected to continue this summer, meaning that travelers will need to strategize well in advance. That may mean reserving a vehicle before booking a flight, and searching for car rental locations beyond the airport.
There are, of course, transit alternatives to renting a car, including ride share services, bike share systems and public transportation.
Zach Whitehead, a software engineer in Cleveland, was recently on spring break with family in Fort Lauderdale and briefly considered a U-Haul when he couldn’t find a standard rental car.
“I said to my sister, ‘I’m assuming you don’t want to ride in the back of a box truck,’ and she agreed,” said Mr. Whitehead, who stuck to Uber for the week.