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Rental car prices are so high in Hawaii, tourists are renting U-Haul trucks – CNN

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https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/25/us/hawaii-u-haul-tourist-rental-trnd/index.html

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While the trucks are usually used for moving, tourists are now renting them because rental car prices have skyrocketed with the rebound of the tourism industry.

Covid-19 brought tourism to a halt, but with states now easing restrictions,
the industry has come bouncing back with force.
The cheapest rental car in Maui in March ran for $722 a day, according to
CNN affiliate KHNL-TV.
$300 a day for a Kia Rio. Why rental cars prices have gone insane
$300 a day for a Kia Rio. Why rental cars prices have gone insane

“This surge in demand is primarily for our smaller vehicles,” said Kaleo Alau, U-Haul Company of Hawaii president, in an emailed statement to CNN. “We realize this demand is occurring when tourists are unable to secure a rental car, or they learn that our rental fleet options are more affordable.”

Of course, this now also means a shortage of U-Haul trucks for people who actually need to move, Alau said.

“We are working everyday with our primary customer base — the islands’ residential movers — to ensure we can still meet their transportation needs,” Alau said.

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The shortage of rental cars isn’t just in Hawaii, either.

As a result of the pandemic, rental car companies across the United States parked their cars in unused lots at ballparks, and cars were rented for a fraction of their normal price — or sold as used cars. The industry sold off more than a half a million cars, about a third of its combined fleets, just to generate cash it needed to survive the crisis.

The rejuvenation of tourism thus sent car rental prices soaring. A search of car rental sites in March showed a Kia Rio, a sub-compact car, going for $300 a day in Orlando.

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