rental

Rental Companies Buy Up Used Cars as Chip Crisis Get Worse

The semiconductor shortage has slashed vehicle production so much that rental-car companies can’t get the new cars they need, so they have resorted to buying used vehicles at auction.

This is uncharted territory for the likes of Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and Enterprise Holdings Inc., which have made their profits by purchasing new vehicles cheaply in bulk, renting them out for as much as a year and selling them at auction. In the past, they have bought some used cars to shore up an occasional unforeseen burst in demand, but rarely for the mainstays of their fleets.

“You would never go into auction to buy routine sedans and SUVs,” said Maryann Keller, an independent consultant who used to be on the board of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, which is now part of Hertz. “These are special circumstances. There is a shortage of cars.”

The demand is sending used-car costs

Read More

Springfield car rental owners say pandemic has had impact on car availability

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Rental car companies across the country are feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joe Horton, owner of Rent-A-Wreck in Springfield, said he’s seen the impact first-hand. He said the boom in car rentals could be contributed to several reasons, however, he said it all leads back to the pandemic.

He explained that last year, companies sold off a large portion of their fleet because people weren’t traveling, so cars were sitting at airports and on lots.

With COVID-19 restrictions easing in areas across the country, including the Ozarks, Horton said travel is picking back up. He said people are looking to rent cars again, but there’s an ongoing chip shortage in the automotive industry, preventing companies from getting inventory.

“As the demand increases, they’re trying to pick up their inventory, and I’m in the same boat to a lesser degree,” explained Horton. “So we’re falling

Read More

How the pandemic led to a rental car crisis just as Americans are ready to bust loose

“Usually car rental is an afterthought,” said Benjamin Tuttle, a computer-assisted design programmer from Minnesota, who was taken aback when Hertz quoted him a price of $240 per day to rent a sedan to tour Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park.

The industry backfire illustrates that the post-pandemic recovery, while strong, may not be entirely smooth. As more retail businesses reopen, many report trouble hiring enough workers to cope with surging demand. Manufacturers complain that raw materials are scarce – a semiconductor shortage that hobbled auto production is making it hard for companies like Avis to restock.

“The covid shock was unlike anything we have experienced before. As we go into the recovery phase, we’re going to see friction and disruption in the normal flow of economic activity,” said Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. financial economist for Oxford Economics. “It’s going to be a bit erratic and disrupted, but the pace of

Read More

Can you still buy a used rental car at a bargain?

Will a bargain-priced former rental car become yet another casualty of the pandemic?

Rental car companies, which frequently refresh their fleets, have long been a reliable source of reasonably priced used vehicles for those in the know. But tightening inventories of used cars nationwide are driving up prices of many former rental cars to higher than what you might pay at a traditional dealership.

While rental car prices plummeted at the beginning of the pandemic as companies such as Hertz sold off their inventory, prices have rebounded and now are 4 percent above the market average, according to an analysis done for NerdWallet by iSeeCars.com, a website that aggregates used-car listings.

Although prices have risen, you still might get a bargain on certain makes and models. And there remain many advantages of shopping the used rental car market. Primarily, it’s a good source of late-model used cars, often

Read More