Visitors are increasingly returning to Hawaii as the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel beckons, but the influx has been met with an unwelcome side effect of the pandemic — a shortage in rental cars.
If those arriving to the islands are lucky enough to find one, chances are that it’s going to be pricey — possibly even hundreds of dollars per day for an economy car. A search for vehicle availability in two weeks on Expedia showed a standard car costing more than $200 a day.
The pandemic essentially shut down Hawaii’s lucrative tourism industry last year amid stay-at-home orders aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. As with other businesses, rental car companies had to take desperate measures to stay afloat.
That included reducing staff and inventory by selling cars to offset major losses as travel nearly ground to a halt worldwide.