In order to survive the resulting travel declines of the pandemic, many car rental firms sold off large pourcentages of their vehicles. As post-vaccination travel is now increasing, the same companies are having a hard time purchasing new cars.
Hertz, which reduced the size of it’s US fleet from over 500,000 to well under 300,000, is now scrambling to purchase new cars as the pandemic has also reduced vehicle manufacturing. In fact, Hertz has secured $4B to rebuild it’s fleet inventory. Avis, sold off 250,000 vehicles during the pandemic which it is also now have to replace.
Demand has outpaced supply to the point where many travel agents and industry experts are recommending to book vehicles first. Vehicle availability is the limiting factor in travel at this time and car rental firms have no definitive date of when they expect things to return to normal, except to state that it might take a while. The demand for the limited inventory has resulted in significantly higher prices as well.