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Castaways: P.E.I. hit by car rental shortage

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island As Prince Edward Island loosens COVID-19 restrictions, travellers are struggling to find rental vehicles and some are even cancelling their trip because they can’t get their hands on a car. 

B.C. resident LeeAnna Binder wanted to spend two weeks in P.E.I. this summer, but due to the lack of vehicles and the increased rental fees for her desired time, she was forced to change her plans.

“I found roadblocks everywhere I looked,” she said. “I couldn’t get a car. I guess I am going to spend the rest of my time in Halifax because they have cars there.”

Tolga Toprak, owner of P.E.I. Car Rentals says that they have been swamped with roughly 40 calls a day, and this summer he has had to turn people down.

“I think August is going to be a bit difficult to cover. I think this is going to continue until the end of August. We have got also bookings in September,” said Toprak.

During the pandemic, Toprak says that they considerably fewer people renting vehicles, but now that everything is opening up again they are struggling, along with many other car rental companies, to keep up with the demand. 

“We were looking for people to call us for cars for a long time, now we have lots of inquiries, lots of telephone calls every single day. We are kind of short of the vehicles,” he said. “Trying to manage this is going to be difficult.” 

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