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Rental car, rideshare companies dealing with shortages

Rental car companies dealing with shortages
Posted at 10:42 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 01:42:40-04

PHOENIX  — Now that more people are getting vaccinated, more people are traveling and going out again making it more difficult to get around.

Many car rental companies are struggling to keep up with demand after decreasing their fleet during the pandemic

“Look at all these places and we can't even get a car,” says one traveler.

Hundreds of people waited in line earlier this month at Sky Harbor Airport to rent a car with no luck. The shortage continues throughout the Valley with no availability at several locations. Some people have even considered not so common options.

"Actually, first we went and actually thought of renting a U-Haul, like a work truck, just so we had a vehicle and those actually were gobbled up,” says another traveler.

Getting a rideshare isn’t much easier. “They were very expensive and in addition they took a long time,” says one rider.

Some riders saying they have had to pay upwards of $40 during peak hours just to go a few blocks. In some cases, they can’t even get a ride.

One reason: a shortage of drivers. ABC15 spoke with an Uber driver who says it’s mainly due to high gas prices and getting paired with customers who are farther out.

"We should be getting paid more if we're being sent out to go pick up these people 20 minutes and then they are only going three miles down the road. We are wasting gas,” says Bernard Brown, Uber driver.

A Lyft spokesperson provided this statement: "We're seeing big increases in demand for rides, as vaccines roll out and people get ready to start moving again. That's great news for drivers, who are busier and earning more than they were even before the pandemic."

Last week they reached record levels nationwide for rides but many people are paying high prices for that.

“They know that in certain areas, like Old Town Scottsdale, people are going to be able to afford to pay the higher fees so they charge higher fees,” says Brown.

These trends ebb and flow quite a bit but for now, it’s on the minds of many.