Rental car shortage may be barrier to summer travel

May 27, 2021

Credit Homer Chamber of Commerce

During the Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown, car rental agencies nationwide sold off much of their inventory since nobody was traveling. But things are different today, with fully-vaccinated people feeling more confident about travel every day. But what they are finding is a lack of rental cars.
    “I’m just a little apprehensive that people realize, “Oh I made my flight reservation and lodging, now I’ll go in and book my cars,” and they have no way to get here,” said Homer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brad Anderson.
    “We've had a few people call and just realize that that was a problem and they hadn't heard if they had to cancel plans or if they were able to find another way down here and then just use local transportation, either through cabs, or we now hear that there's an Uber. Someone has signed up to be an Uber driver down here,” Anderson said. “So, if people can get here I know they can get around town through some of those sources. That's my only concern is that people haven't made those reservations in time and then realize how difficult it can be to get down here if they haven't really thought it through.”
    Anderson said he’s seen reports of exorbitant price hikes.
    “I mean it’s incredible what they’re charging. I’m hearing up to $400 a day. And I hate to hear people taking opportunities out there,” he said. “But in Anchorage, I know a few people are putting their private cars up for rental and doing some little kind of entrepreneurial pop-up.”
    Checking the Expedia travel app, no rental cars were available in Homer on Memorial Day, and rentals from Anchorage on that date ranged from about $700 to $1,000 per week.