rental

Rental Companies Buy Up Used Cars as Chip Crisis Get Worse

The semiconductor shortage has slashed vehicle production so much that rental-car companies can’t get the new cars they need, so they have resorted to buying used vehicles at auction.

This is uncharted territory for the likes of Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and Enterprise Holdings Inc., which have made their profits by purchasing new vehicles cheaply in bulk, renting them out for as much as a year and selling them at auction. In the past, they have bought some used cars to shore up an occasional unforeseen burst in demand, but rarely for the mainstays of their fleets.

“You would never go into auction to buy routine sedans and SUVs,” said Maryann Keller, an independent consultant who used to be on the board of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, which is now part of Hertz. “These are special circumstances. There is a shortage of cars.”

The demand is sending used-car costs

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Springfield car rental owners say pandemic has had impact on car availability

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Rental car companies across the country are feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joe Horton, owner of Rent-A-Wreck in Springfield, said he’s seen the impact first-hand. He said the boom in car rentals could be contributed to several reasons, however, he said it all leads back to the pandemic.

He explained that last year, companies sold off a large portion of their fleet because people weren’t traveling, so cars were sitting at airports and on lots.

With COVID-19 restrictions easing in areas across the country, including the Ozarks, Horton said travel is picking back up. He said people are looking to rent cars again, but there’s an ongoing chip shortage in the automotive industry, preventing companies from getting inventory.

“As the demand increases, they’re trying to pick up their inventory, and I’m in the same boat to a lesser degree,” explained Horton. “So we’re falling

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How the pandemic led to a rental car crisis just as Americans are ready to bust loose

“Usually car rental is an afterthought,” said Benjamin Tuttle, a computer-assisted design programmer from Minnesota, who was taken aback when Hertz quoted him a price of $240 per day to rent a sedan to tour Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park.

The industry backfire illustrates that the post-pandemic recovery, while strong, may not be entirely smooth. As more retail businesses reopen, many report trouble hiring enough workers to cope with surging demand. Manufacturers complain that raw materials are scarce – a semiconductor shortage that hobbled auto production is making it hard for companies like Avis to restock.

“The covid shock was unlike anything we have experienced before. As we go into the recovery phase, we’re going to see friction and disruption in the normal flow of economic activity,” said Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. financial economist for Oxford Economics. “It’s going to be a bit erratic and disrupted, but the pace of

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How to hunt down a used-car deal from a rental company like Hertz, Enterprise during coronavirus

As Hertz offers to sell thousands of its cars at steep discounts and millions of Americans face financial uncertainty due to coronavirus, now might be a good time to hunt for bargains from rental car companies. 

“There are definitely good deals out there,” said Rick Ricart, president of the pre-owned vehicle dealership Ricart Automotive in Ohio. “Rentals are down, and rental car companies might be getting aggressive to cut their losses.”

But there are also things to look out for. 

Pouncing on a used-car deal just because you see an alluring price could leave you in a financial bind down the line. And with cases of COVID-19 ticking up, buyers should take extra precautions before taking off in a car previously driven by dozens or even hundreds of other people. 

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Here’s how to smartly and safely find a used-car deal from a rental company in the age of COVID-19:

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