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Shortage Shock: Alberta sees rental car shortage, Alberta Motor Association explains why

Edmonton, Alberta — The ongoing shortage of rental cars that’s been plaguing provinces all over Canada has spread its roots in Alberta, and one expert says he knows why. 

Roland Van Meurs with the Alberta Motor Association (AMA) says the car rental shortage was caused by one thing, and one thing only: the pandemic. 

He says COVID-19 was the first domino to set off this entire issue.  

As COVID-19 restrictions prohibited travel, many car rental companies were in a dire position financially and had to sell a large portion of their inventory to stay afloat.

“As long as COVID was lasting, a lot of the car rentals had to sell a good chunk of their fleet,” Van Meurs told CBC News.

However, now that things are opening back up and more people are travelling, many car rental companies simply lack the inventory to keep up with the demand. 

“There is not a lot to be tapped. It’s pretty frightening,” said Van Meurs.

AMA’s data indicates there are currently almost no rental vehicles available and as result companies have increased their prices quite dramatically— sometimes “double” to “triple” the regular price, he said. 

“And, you know, we anticipate that will probably remain for the rest of the summer,” Van Meurs said.

For anyone looking to book a rental car in the meantime, he recommends booking in advance — up to two months prior.

“That way, at least you know you’ll have a car,” he said.

 

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