Car rental costs skyrocket in Calgary as demand for summer travel returns
CALGARY – For months there have been reports of very high rental car prices in major US cities. Now those looking to hire a car in Calgary see a similar situation.
“Prices are based on supply and demand. The supply is nowhere, the demand is high so the prices are more than four times [higher] compared to before COVID, ”said Baljeet Sidhu, owner of Routes Car Rental near the Calgary airport.
Sidhu said a mid-size SUV that would typically cost between $ 80 and $ 90 at this time of year is closer to $ 300 per day, if the vehicle is even available.
“Before COVID, we used 550 cars and we were planning to increase to 750, but at the moment we have 140 cars,” Sidhu said.
Sidhu said it was common to sell cars to update the fleet. Other cash-strapped rental companies also sold their inventory during the pandemic. Now the problem is demand is coming back as automakers continue to struggle to produce new vehicles due to supply chain issues.
Sidhu said orders are placed with US and Japanese manufacturers, but he’s just not sure when the new cars will arrive in his batches.
RESERVE IN ADVANCE
Travel expert Onanta Forbes suggests anyone planning a post-pandemic vacation book their car rental as early as possible.
“I would say that if you book in advance you can take advantage of potential savings and also have the peace of mind that when you arrive at this destination you will have a car ready and prepared for you to go.
Forbes said you might not get the best booking price last minute or even get a vehicle at all.
“You could go to the counter for a last minute car rental or think about buying that car after the fact and there are no cars available because there are not enough cars in their fleet to meet. on demand that currently exists. “
Forbes suggests looking for promo codes and using your credit card to make a reservation. If you find a better price later, at least you have a backup.