buying: Rental cars will stay expensive until automakers get more microchips

If You Can’t Find a Rental Car, Try One of These Options

  If You Can’t Find a Rental Car, Try One of These Options If You Can’t Find a Rental Car, Try One of These OptionsAs you may remember when air travel shut down last year, rental car companies had to sell off large sections of their fleets to stay afloat (even veteran company Hertz filed for bankruptcy). As a result, the rental car selection in the U.S. was slashed, which then led to higher prices and lower inventory when travel started picking up again. To compound that problem, rental car companies can't restock their fleets quickly due to the chip shortage and other supply chain delays. Hang tight, though, because we have some alternative ideas for you.

Just as with the microchip shortage, rental car prices have generated dueling headlines for most of the year. With chips, everyone agrees that the shortage is dire, and the disagreements center on how long it will take to get enough chips back in the system for automakers to return to reliable production. With rental cars, everyone agrees that prices have been breathtaking, and the disagreements center on when will it stop costing a house payment to rent a vehicle for a week. This week, Business Insider wrote a piece with the headline, "Renting a car could be much easier this fall," while an L.A. Times headline said, "Why renting a car will be a pain until 2022." The Times' take is the better bet right now.

How Much Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Car?

  How Much Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Car? When shoppers are considering the purchase or lease of an electric vehicle (EV), one of the first questions they ask is, "how much does it cost to charge?" While it's easy to answer that question for a gas-powered car by looking at its fuel economy and your gas station receipt, it gets a bit more complicated for an electric car. If you're charging from a home charging station, the cost of charging an electric vehicle is based on the vehicle'sIf you're charging from a home charging station, the cost of charging an electric vehicle is based on the vehicle's energy efficiency and the cost of electricity, which can vary greatly depending on where you're charging.

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Why? Because until there are more microchips, the entire vehicle market will remain constrained. Consensus seems to be that the chip shortage will last at least until 2022, preventing enough vehicles from entering the market to satisfy demand. Rental fleet operations have been suffering and will continue to suffer because of this, as production cuts eliminate millions of vehicles from the market — Ford alone said it will get 1.1 million fewer vehicles off assembly lines this year, while Nissan said the chip shortage will shave 500,000 vehicles off its 2020 production. In response, the Times reports that rental car agencies are trying to buy back cars they'd sold at auction, and are keeping the cars they have for tens of thousands of miles longer than they used to.

How to Buy a Car Right Now, Without Overpaying

  How to Buy a Car Right Now, Without Overpaying If you’ve driven by a car dealership lately, you’ve seen it with your own eyes: There just aren’t many cars available right now. Continuing effects from the COVID-19 pandemic are pummeling automakers with parts shortages and other production disruptions. As auto plant shutdowns drag on, the number of cars on dealer lots continues to dwindle. At the same time, demand for new cars continues to surge. More shoppers chasing fewer new cars means one thing: Skyrocketing prices for new vehicles. Prices of used cars have risen substantially in turn, as many new car buyers have turned to the pre-owned vehicle market.


Video: Here's how to calculate if you should rent or buy a car (CNBC)

On top of that, not only are rental companies begging for cars, they're begging for workers. The result is that if a traveler can find a rental car at a tolerable price, he or she might endure a customer service nightmare trying to get the car off the lot.

Business Insider could be in the right if we read "much easier" as "slightly less expensive." The Times said average rental prices were around $45 per day at the beginning of 2020, hit $120 per day during the summer scrum, and are down to about $80. But with more holidays right around the corner, a return to triple-digit pricing probably isn't far away. So book early, be flexible, consider renting vehicles in urban locations instead of at the airport, and as one outlet suggested, "You'll want to plan to spend a little extra." Good luck.

Rental cars will stay expensive until automakers get more microchips originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 Sep 2021 10:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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