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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Shortage of Rental Cars in Hawaii

By Doug Porter

An interesting thing happened this week. Hawaii car rental companies like Avis, Budget, Thrifty and all the others actually ran out of cars. Visitors to Hawaii are up and shortages exist on all islands.

For 8 or 9 months now, rental companies have been reducing the number of cars in their inventory to cut costs. Fleets have been reduced by more than 1500 cars, but the bump in visitors from President’s weekend and Mid-winter break caught rental companies by surprise. Either things aren’t as bad as they expected, or perhaps – dare I say it – we’ve rounded a corner?

Of course it’s too early to say, but the increase in visitors to the islands is a good sign. Not just for car rental companies, but for airlines, restaurants, hotels, vacation rentals and just about everyone else in Hawaii. And, if it’s the beginning of a national trend it could start to spread to other sectors. Rental car companies will start increasing fleets and helping automakers, etc.

I may be grasping at straws here, but I’ll take any good news I can get.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

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