FARGO — Bernie Ness knows the rental car world. He started back in 1971 at Hector International Airport. At the time, he had 15 cars. Now, he and other rental car business owners find themselves trying to recover from the pandemic, but they can't get the cars.
Rental cars in Hawaii have been going for $900 a week. U-haul has been busy filling the need of people who can't find or afford a rental car now. They are getting 10-foot trucks, usually as a one-way to Minneapolis.
One reason is a shortage of semiconductor chips, making it so car manufacturers can't get their cars out.
"At the car plants, they are building parking lots and parking thousands of cars, waiting for the chip," explained Avis Car Rental employee Bernie Ness.
When the pandemic hit, people just stopped traveling. a lot of car rental companies sold off their fleet. Now, people like Cindy Thompson from North Carolina planned ahead before coming to North Dakota, just to get a car.
"I heard some people on the airplane say they were just going to walk up and get a rental car, and I thought, good luck," said traveler Cindy Thompson.
The best advice coming from rental car companies is to plan ahead when vacationing this summer.
"People will still be taken care of, but the days of walking up to the counter and wanting a car are done. "You need a reservation," Ness said.