AVIS CEO says Rental Car demand is up 500% since January

With the start of the Memorial Day weekend, Americans have been traveling in the highest numbers since March 2020, leading to higher demand for transportation. Above, a person walks outside Avis car rental in Hell's Kitchen as New York City continues Phase 4 of reopening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on August 2, 2020, in New York City. NOAM GALAI/GETTY IMAGES

At the start of the Memorial Day weekend, Americans have been traveling in the highest numbers since March 2020, leading to higher demand for transportation, the Associated Press reported.

Demand for rental cars is up 500% since January, according to a travel company CEO.

“My mother-in-law called me on a vacation and said, ‘Hey, can you get me a rental car?’ I said, ‘No,'” said Jordan Staab, president of SmarterTravel Media. “It’s tough to get a rental car right now, so plan ahead as much as you possibly can.”

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Rental car companies cut their inventory over the last year to make up for the lack of revenue following pandemic restrictions in 2020. Now, the demand, and subsequently the price, of rental cars have increased sharply.

The increased desire to travel has also resulted in a rise in prices for flights, gasoline and hotels as Americans plan to travel this weekend in near-record-breaking numbers since the COVID outbreak.

More than 1.8 million people went through U.S. airports on Thursday, and the number was widely expected to cross the 2 million threshold over the long holiday weekend.

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