Holidays bring more demand for rental cars


LIHUE (AP) — Kauai is raising prices on rental cars for the holidays as demand increases and makes it tough to find available vehicles.

Another media outlet reported Friday some rental companies are trying to bring in new cars, allowing residents to have one of their vehicles rented out if it’s available.

General Manager Dave Hoskings, of Island Cars, said there were people crying at the Lihue airport this week because there were no available vehicles. He said the visitors hadn’t considered they would be out of luck without a reservation.

“We only raise our rates one time per year and that is between Dec. 18 and Jan. 8,” Hoskings said. “We need to charge more because we are being creative with ways to get more vehicles into our fleet during that time.”

Owner Dan Lauer, of HawaiiCarRental.com, said Christmas and New Year’s are the busiest weeks of the year on all the islands for rental car fleets.

“Everybody wants to go to Hawaii in the wintertime and have a couple of weeks away from the freezing weather,” Lauer said. “What is better than warm weather for time off from work at the holidays?”

Lauer said prices go up when tour operators, which are given blocks of rentals, start selling out.

“Often, by midyear, some of the companies sell out and it’s hard to find a car at a reasonable rate,” he said.

It’s tougher to shift car fleets in Hawaii than it is in other U.S. states. Lauer said he thinks there are more fleets in Hawaii than in previous years.

 

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