HONOLULU — A recent surge of tourists in Hawaii has driven up the price of rental cars after fleets were thinned out during the pandemic.
Some companies in Honolulu had only large vans for $500 a day and convertibles for $1,000 a day or more, Hawaii News Now reported Monday.
Timo Lee, a part-time Honolulu resident, said some vendors she checked with were “completely out of stock.”
“Some companies have cars, but they are very expensive,” she added.
The pandemic resulted in limited rental inventory.
“Because of the pandemic, the car rental companies had nowhere to put all the cars. So what they had to do is they had to get rid of them. They had to sell them,” said Jerry Agrusa, a professor in the School of Travel Industry Management at the University of Hawaii.
Uncertainty about when tourism would return is another factor for the high prices, he said.
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Rental car fees on Kauai remained under $100 per day, which Agrusa said is because the island still has stricter quarantine and testing rules in place until April 5.
The islands have seen a surge of visitors in recent weeks as local coronavirus restrictions ease and more people across the country begin to travel.
“It feels like we went back to 110 mph just in the last couple of weeks,” Lindsey Dymond, owner of Kalapawai Cafe, told Hawaii News…