Rental Cars More Affordable as Demand Slows | News, Sports, Jobs


As demand for vehicles slows and rental companies replenish their fleets, hundreds of idling rental cars begin to fill the three fields behind Kahului Airport on Sunday. Officials say September and October are generally quieter months for Valley Island, with much lower number of inbound visitors from the mainland. DAKOTA GROSSMAN photo

Car rental companies are rebuilding their fleets and stabilizing prices slightly as Maui’s visitor numbers and vehicle demand slows this month.

Maui Airport District Manager Marvin Moniz said on Friday that the companies are currently bringing back about 3,000 rental vehicles in total and “I’m sure more will be coming over the next few months.”

The number of arriving passengers has averaged around 4,500 per day at Kahului Airport from the mainland throughout September, with the number of outgoing passengers averaging around 5,000 passengers. per day.

“Looks like these numbers will hold up for October”, Moniz said. “Historically, October has been one of the slowest months.”

Idling vehicles in fields near the airport pile up as daily car rentals decline slightly; about 800 cars a day are rented, according to Moniz. Uber, Lyft and taxi services are currently operating at stable rates, showing “no big peak” Where “no big fall” in the past month.

Between the island’s busy months so far, local rental companies have undergone a dramatic change.

In May and April, vehicles were booked fairly quickly at Maui Car Rentals when there was a high demand for rentals and a low supply of vehicles, but the need has since slowed, manager Kali’i Oliveira said on Wednesday.

Although September and October are naturally slower months, which is when the company has specials and sales, Oliveira said she has lost a number of bookings since Governor David’s announcement. Ige last month urging visitors to postpone their trip to help curb the spread of COVID-19[FEMININE[FEMININE

“We got cancellations almost every day, from everywhere too – not just from the United States, but a lot of people in Canada are canceling” said Oliveira. “We had cancellations for October and even November as well.”

The size of the fleet is around 120, with around 20 to 30 cars “Just sitting here right now”, he added.

This is a change from the start of the year, when demand was so high that a customer even asked if he could rent Oliveira’s personal vehicle for $ 100 per day.

The Kahului business typically rents by the week, with prices ranging from $ 500 to just over $ 700, according to the website. Oliveira said they are ready to match the tariffs.

National car rental companies appear to see a steady demand for rentals, with the majority of Maui operators having booked through the end of October, like Alamo and Enterprise, according to the companies’ websites.

Prices show a very slight drop, however, averaging around $ 400 to $ 1,850 for a five-day reservation depending on the type of car.

A reservation for a Hertz car in May and April cost over $ 1,000 to $ 2,000 for a period of five days, depending on the size of the vehicle. Vehicles from many large rental companies were not available until the end of October as of Thursday, but are priced much lower, ranging from just under $ 300 to around $ 730.

However, Thrifty’s uptime has stabilized since the months when customers had to pay around $ 1,000 per week due to the low supply of vehicles.

On Sunday, a reservation for the week of October 11 lists prices from around $ 450 to around $ 590, ranging from a small economy two-door car to a van.

During the growing demand for rentals at the start of the year, Sixt SE, an international supplier with around 2,100 locations in more than 110 countries, quickly added 70,900 vehicles to its global fleet, bringing the international inventory to around 146 000 vehicles in total at the end. of the second trimester.

“In general, with the celebrations around Labor Day and the start of the school year after the summer vacation, September is traditionally a slightly quieter time to travel to the United States,” Sixt said in a statement Wednesday.

In general, the company recommends that customers book in advance in order to obtain better prices and availability.

“The exact pricing depends on several parameters, such as where and when reservations are made” the company said.

* Dakota Grossman can be contacted at [email protected]

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