TAMPA (NBC) – In Hawaii, rental car prices are being driven up due to a car shortage, leading some visitors to get creative by turning to U-haul trucks to get around the islands.
The COVID-19 pandemic and low tourism forced rental car companies to sell many cars in turn driving up prices for the vehicles left over.
On Maui, the cheapest rental in March was $722 per day for a Toyota Camry. Meanwhile, on Oahu, the only available vehicle for the day was a convertible priced at over a thousand dollars.
With not enough rental cars to meet demand some tourists have turned to renting U-hauls.
Hawaii U-haul executives say they’ve gotten calls to rent all types of vehicles, from pickups to box trucks.
“The uptick from tourism, the uptick from companies opening back up, from the economy starting to restart and just everybody seems to need a vehicle,” U-Haul Marketing President Kaleo Alau said.
Meanwhile, locals are worried there may not be enough vehicles for people who actually need them for hauling.
“I think it’s kind of weird because there were so many of them about six to eight months ago, that they couldn’t find places to park all the rental cars. Now, they can’t get them,” Kihei resident Dave Morrell said.