Car rentals are up and inventories are down

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- As more people planing to travel, inventory at car rental companies is slim.

AAA said travel is up 60% compared to last year and with the pandemic induced shortage, if you find a rental car, be prepared for the price tag

“They were expensive! We were just here in March and the economy to compact (cars) were $30 now the least expensive one we found was $50,” said Mary Saldana, a visitor from California.

To avoid that line at the desk, AAA said to try to make all your reservations in advance

“We heard to book early because there is a shortage of rental cars that you wouldn’t be able to walk up to the window and get the car of your choice, and we are traveling with a family of five, so we reserved early and got what we wanted,” said Ann Marie Condon, visitor from Boston.

They said it’s best to be flexible with your travel dates, weekly rentals tend to be cheaper than day-to-day reservations, plus some rental companies may offer you a refund for unused days if you return the vehicle early.

“The different car rental companies have a shortage right now, and it’s too bad because people want to get out and travel, and it’s a limiting factor for families,” said Richard Schroeder, a visitor from Illinois.

Another tip AAA offered was to consider off-airport location.

AAA said it’s often less expensive than renting at the airport, but to be sure to ask about the location’s hours and if they have transportation from the airport.