CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – AAA said this Independence Day travel weekend will be the busiest on record since the group started tracking those numbers. The group estimates 47.7 million Americans will travel this Independence Day and of those 90% will be traveling by car.
But if travelers are planning on renting a car they should prepare to pay more than they used to. As more people get vaccinated and more restrictions are lifted interest in travel is on the rise.
Travelers are eager to hit the roads and may encounter high costs and limited availability. AAA said daily rates have gone up 86% compared to last July.
“They are going to be paying high prices if they have not already booked a car rental for Independence Day,” explained Jenifer Moore with AAA. “The availability may be very slim or you could be paying high costs.”
The travel group said a slow down in auto sales during the pandemic and a shortage of semi-conductor chips has led to auto manufacturing delays and shortages at rental car companies.
“In some areas, you might look online and see that a car is available and then you may call ten minutes later and it is no longer available,” Moore said. “That is because demand is very high right now and there are not enough cars.”
If you are planning to rent a car Moore has some advice that could make the process easier.
“If you need to book try to book at off locations. Airports are running out pretty quickly so if you want to book at a lower cost try to book at off-airport locations, maybe in a city that is not near the airport,” she said.
If you are going to take your own car on a long trip she said to be sure to take it for a maintenance check-up beforehand so you don’t get stranded on what will be a busy weekend out on the roads.