TAMPA, Fla. — Travelers across the country have experienced issues renting vehicles in recent weeks. Spectrum Bay News 9 spoke to Jonathan Weinberg, Founder and CEO of AutoSlash.com to find out why.

What You Need To Know

  • Airports seeing rental car shortage as traveling comes back

  • 18 out of 20 Florida airports were sold out of rental cars this past weekend

  • Experts suggest reserving a rental car early

  • AutoSlash.com can help find the best deals and track prices

He says this past weekend, 18 out of 20 airports in Florida were sold out of rental vehicles. 

“The entire state of Florida is just one massive red zone right now. Prices are extremely high,” said Weinberg.

He attributes the shortage of available rental cars to a few factors. At the beginning of the pandemic, many rental car companies sold vehicles.

“They had to go into survival mode. They sold off as many cars as they possibly could. And they got down to the bare minimum they just needed to support the existing business,” said Weinberg. He went on to say, “It definitely had some massive impact on the industry. And they basically just hunkered down. It was okay for 2020. But as travel started to come back, I think they were caught off guard a bit by how quickly the demand started to recover."

Weinberg also says it’s been harder for these companies to buy new cars. He says demand is also changing.

“Demand patterns are changing. People are renting cars for longer. If they’re not comfortable getting on planes they’re taking road trips,” said Weinberg.

His advice is to reserve a rental vehicle early. Weinberg says his website helps find the best rental deals and tracks prices. You’ll be notified if the price decreases. 

He also suggests reserving the rental vehicle before you book a flight and hotel since demand is so high right now.