Missoula airport seeks alternatives to vehicle rental scarcity, cost will increase

MISSOULA — A countrywide rental automobile shortage has developed issues for vacationers around the earlier

MISSOULA — A countrywide rental automobile shortage has developed issues for vacationers around the earlier number of months, and all those in a position to discover a automobile are typically spending two times as substantially as ahead of the pandemic.

Though passengers arriving at Missoula Worldwide Airport are not on your own in their frustrations about a lack of rental vehicle choices, the airport is having actions it hopes will help ease the problems.

Brian Ellestad, the airport’s interim director, said main businesses such as Hertz, Avis, Business and others will carry on to do business at the facility. But the airport also is doing work to diversify its offerings and it a short while ago accepted a agreement with Turo, just one of the nation’s top automobile-sharing companies.
“Competition is important to bringing rental prices down,” stated Ellestad. “Turo will be extra application-primarily based and meet up with the driver.”

By way of an app or on the net, prospects can e-book a vehicle with Turo on precise dates and situations, and from precise airports and other places. The vehicle’s host will then deliver the motor vehicle to the renter. From there, it’s theirs to use as per their agreement with the host.

The arrangement with Turo is a single of various methods taken by the airport to tackle the rental motor vehicle crunch and massive rate will increase. The shortage has vexed travelers throughout the place, hitting vacationer locations the toughest, this sort of as Maui and Denver.

Rental auto organizations nationwide are operating out of cars or doubling price ranges for the several vehicles they have still left. Numerous offered off their fleets to endure very last year’s pandemic. A scarcity in computer system chips also has exacerbated the issue.

In Missoula, a recent examine of selling prices experienced car rentals ranging from $134 to $460 a working day at the airport. Alongside with bringing Turo to the airport, the facility also has signed a agreement with Missoula Nissan.

“It’s yet another purchaser presenting,” Ellestad mentioned. “They’re set up for far more experience-type vehicles. In the winter season they’ll offer ski racks and in the summer time present kayak racks. Competitiveness is fantastic. We see that in the airways and we see that in the automobile rental sector as nicely.”

The most current additions aren’t the 1st time the airport has responded to rental auto agencies. In 2018, allegations of cost gouging by automobile rental companies at Missoula International Airport prompted the facility to deal with its lease agreements right before they have been renewed the subsequent calendar year.

Right after months of rumors, the difficulty surfaced in August as the airport authority viewed as Corpat Inc. and its system to market its Alamo-Countrywide car rental counter to Enterprise, boosting problems that a one entity could monopolize the airport’s automobile rental organization.