Rental Car Rates Soar
The NYT dug through Abrams Consulting Group data on car rental prices, and it seems the cost of part-time wheels has gone up considerably in the last year. By how much?
In May, the average rate for a weekly airport rental of a compact car booked seven days in advance was $345.99, up a whopping 73 percent compared with $199.65 for the same month last year . . . In mid-June, weekly airport rental rates for a compact car averaged $347.44, compared with $210.38 a year ago.
Abrams Consulting blames falling demand, which has rental agencies cutting fleet sizes and jacking up prices. One example from the NYT piece is from Portland, Oregon, where personal experience proves that renting a car can be hilariously difficult. A recent attempt at renting a car mid-week here in Stumptown had me calling every rental agency in town before finally finding an available ride at the last agency on the list. One factor that the NYT piece doesn’t consider: falling residuals for the kind of fleet-queen Detroit iron that rental agencies used to cram onto lots. With resale bringing in less than it used to, it’s no wonder rental firms are trying to cut fleet size and bring up prices.
More by Edward Niedermeyer