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The 25 most expensive US cities for car rentals | Cars

It may be hard to believe that “cheap” vacations still exist, given that the prices of everything have gone up. This is especially true if you need a rental car for your trip.

When the pandemic shut down the world, the travel industry was hit hard. Car rental companies in the United States had lots of cars that no one was renting, so to stay solvent they sold their excess stock. While this strategy helped them survive in the short term, it also led to higher rental car prices for consumers.

When people felt comfortable traveling again, they started renting cars again, causing the industry to rebound quickly. After revenues fell 27.4% in 2020, the industry saw record growth in 2021, according to Auto Rental News.

Unfortunately, the surge in demand has left car rental companies on the hook as supply chain issues and shortages of semiconductor chips have made it difficult to replenish their inventory. The ability of car rental companies to buy new cars is at its lowest level in 20 years, according to Auto Rental News.

While rental companies are adding more cars to their lots, it’s not at a pace to keep up with demand. This has caused car rental prices to skyrocket, forcing consumers to budget a much larger portion of their travel expenses for car rental.

Although the overall situation has improved since last summer, 93% of American travelers plan to take a vacation this year – according to a February 2022 report by the Wall Street Journal – so demand is still high. A nationwide shortage of rental cars persists, which will make a summer getaway in 2022 more expensive than it was before the pandemic.

CoPilot looked at Business Travel News’ Business Travel Index to find which cities had the most expensive car rentals in Q4 2021 (latest data available), and how it changed year-over-year . The data averages car rental rates and taxes in 100 major US cities using booking information from three major corporate travel agencies. The average cost of renting a car in the United States during this period was around $46.18 per day, down 6.2% from a year earlier.

Read on to find out how much a rental car costs at your destination and whether you should consider booking it early.