I wasn’t imagining it. Car rental rates are way up, The New York Times’ Practical Traveler reports.
Weekly airport rental rates for a compact car were up 73 percent this May over the previous May and 65 percent in mid-June from a year earlier.
The reason is basic supply and demand. Although demand for car rentals is down — by roughly 15 percent, according to [the president of the Abrams Consulting Group, Neil] Abrams — rental agencies have cut their fleets by even more, essentially creating their own shortage and jacking up prices.
Last month I complained about high rental car rates and several people wrote to tell me about the great deals they got. Now I don’t feel quite as stupid, although I’m clearly not as smart as my readers.
The Times column has some advice on getting lower rates.