Why is it really hard to get a rental vehicle in Myrtle Beach SC?

Shante Abdo

Right after waiting for practically 4 hours, Patricia Wall Erbe viewed as the keys dangling on the wall of the Avis Price range Team rental car or truck station at the Myrtle Beach front airport dwindled into the single digits.

It was late on June 19, practically 9 p.m., but she acquired fortunate. She was equipped to get a Toyota RAV4, so she could still drive across town to her friend’s house in North Myrtle Seaside. Driving her stood a ton extra individuals, she said, and she was not so guaranteed they would be able to get a rental by themselves.

But when she opened the doorway to her rental car or truck, she did not really feel as blessed as she had right after standing in line for ages.

“The car was filthy,” Erbe explained. “There was dried white things on the driver’s seat. Milkshake? No, I never imagine so. The floorboard was worn down the the metallic. I imagine any individual was using tobacco weed in there. The scent was terrible.

“I did not come to feel secure in that motor vehicle,” Erbe additional.

Erbe mentioned she experienced rented autos in Myrtle Seashore ahead of, but her practical experience had in no way been this poor.

Erbe’s expertise is just a single illustration of the rental automobile lack in Myrtle Seaside, a result of a nationwide source-chain problem that has been unable to retain up with the rapid return to family vacation vacation this summertime.

In Myrtle Seaside, the rental auto shortage has produced it more challenging for the promptly expanding number of vacationers flying here to get close to. Uber and Lyft motorists are even now scarce, yet another nationwide difficulty, and the area lacks a robust community transit process, building driving genuinely the only way to get all around.

Rental car or truck firm Avis Price range Group, in a assertion to The Solar Information, blamed Erbe’s undesirable encounter and others like it on the “Rapid, uneven world-wide recovery from COVID (that has) led to unpredictable fluctuations in demand from customers and rental designs.”

“We are functioning with prospects at all places to reduce the impact of this marketplace dynamic and be certain they can get their automobiles as securely and successfully as feasible,” the firm stated in its statement.

Rental Car Line_June 19 2021.jpg
Patricia Wall Erbe, browsing from Pennsylvania, took this picture when waiting around in line for virtually four hrs to get a rental automobile when she flew into Myrtle Beach on June 19. She claimed she received one of the very last few cars and trucks available, but that it was filthy and smelled like marijuana when she lastly picked it up. Courtesy of Patricia Wall Erbe

Erbe had rented her car by way of Costco Travel, which she praised for its buyer service and explained they were being working to make guaranteed her scenario was completely solved.

Her frustrations with Avis Funds Team, the business eventually dealing with her rental pickup, did not end with the automobile alone. She was also offended that the enterprise unsuccessful to notify her ahead of time that she may well have to wait for hours to get a auto. She only learned of the dire situation as soon as she arrived walked out of the airport and noticed the traces.

“The individuals in the back again of the line were stating they had been there for 3 or four several hours ready to get a automobile,” Erbe claimed. “No water, no meals, practically nothing. The devices were being all empty simply because people experienced been ready for several hours.”

Nationwide rental vehicle scarcity

Erbe isn’t by yourself. Across the country, rental cars and trucks are in shorter provide thanks to the globally shortage of the microchips used to make new cars and trucks. Several rental companies also offered off considerably of their fleets last year, in accordance to Jefferies Group, an investment decision bank, leaving handful of cars and trucks remaining when vacation all of a sudden surged back again.

“It’s the hunger game titles out in this article with people combating for automobiles since you have none…in the Atlanta airport? NONE?” actor and singer Audra McDonald tweeted at rental motor vehicle corporation Hertz earlier this thirty day period. “And when one will come up men and women are all managing for it? This is absurd.”

There is one particular vibrant place: Waiting for a rental automobile isn’t a every day situation. Like with stability traces at the airport, which peak on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings and afternoons, rental vehicle waits peak on weekends. Those people buying up a auto on a weekday can hope a considerably calmer practical experience, nevertheless troubles with automobile availability could possibly however persist on all those days.

Some folks have resorted to leasing U-Hauls for their vacations mainly because so several autos have been offered, in accordance to Washington Post vacation site By The Way. In Myrtle Beach, WBTW reported last week that some website visitors were being leasing U-Hauls for their go to due to the fact of the reduced price. U-Haul even touts alone on its web page as an reasonably priced choice to common rental car organizations.

Since of the nationwide lack, Myrtle Beach Hospitality Association CEO Stephen Greene stated it’s necessary to reserve rental cars and trucks as much in progress as doable to make sure you get one particular.

Is the automobile drivable? Then you can just take it.

Dennis Buron, of Parker, Colorado, also experienced a annoying rental auto working experience at the Myrtle Beach front airport. He rented a motor vehicle for his loved ones of 7 more than 6 months in advance. But in contrast to very last yr when he flew into Charleston, there weren’t any large SUVs obtainable when he produced his car or truck reservation for this summertime. He settled for a minivan, hoping it would even now have sufficient area.

Still when he arrived in Myrtle Seashore, the clerk performing for Avis Price range Group claimed there weren’t any minivans obtainable, as a substitute offering him a Chevrolet Traverse, which nevertheless experienced seven seats. A Traverse wouldn’t perform for Buron, while, mainly because not only did he have seven persons to transportation, he also had a week’s worthy of of baggage for 7 people, which could not suit into these a smaller car.

The agent checked all over again, Buron explained, and he’d gotten fortunate. A minivan had just been turned in, so the agent explained to him that “as very long as the tires are tires are not flat and windshield isn’t cracked, we can get you in it,” Buron reported. All he experienced to do was wait around about fifty percent an hour for the car to be cleaned and introduced up.

“It was probably 1 of my worst experiences with Avis, but they did acquire care of me and they did get it right,” Buron said. “Given the constraints and almost everything else that they are going by means of, I feel they were being most likely performing about the best they could.”

That day he flew in, July 3, was also one particular of the busiest times the Myrtle Seaside Airport has found in months, according to the TSA.

“We have seen higher demand from customers in the Myrtle Seashore area, but in equally situations, we ended up capable to rapidly guide the prospects at the time they reached our counter,” Avis Finances Team said in a statement responding to Erbe’s and Buron’s experiences.

Karen Riordan, the Myrtle Seaside Place Chamber of Commerce CEO, claimed she was at the airport several months ago and overheard a men and women expressing that they hadn’t booked a rental but planned to “see if they had any rental autos offered.”

“I appeared at the gentleman shocked, like, ‘Oh my god, you’re imagining about asking now that you have landed? You desired to do that back again residence, online,’” Riordan stated. “I imagine that’s an previous carryover poor behavior primarily based on previous knowledge wherever there have been a lot of rental vehicles.”

In today’s journey natural environment, Riordan claimed reservations are necessary at all levels of trip scheduling, from airplane tickets to hotels to, in some situations, even restaurant reservations.

“It’s likely to consider a very little bit of time for people to know that preparing ahead is likely to help save them so substantially aggravation down the line,” she reported.

Even the most well-ready tourists are afflicted

Buron and Erbe experienced done their due diiligence, however, and made reservations properly in progress. Their encounters clearly show how disaster can strike even the most very well-prepared in the current travel surroundings. Both equally felt blessed to get rental automobiles at all.

Neither put in considerably time driving in the course of their time in Myrtle Seashore, but Buron mentioned likely with no a rental isn’t definitely much of an alternative in this article. The region lacks common community transportation and has been component of the nationwide shortage of Uber and Lyft motorists.

“It would be incredibly tricky to get all around, particularly if you are remaining on the south facet,” said Buron, who rented a property in Backyard Town. “Maybe if you have been being far more centrally in Myrtle Beach front, maybe it would be easier” due to the fact there are additional attractions, dining establishments and grocery suppliers near collectively in Myrtle Seashore right.

Greene, the Hospitality Association CEO, explained the area’s deficiency of community transit is influenced by its reasonably small household populace as opposed to towns like Washington, D.C., or New York with considerable subway and bus methods.

Without a rental auto, site visitors may possibly come across it hard to get close to. “We’re a 60-mile lengthy spot,” Greene mentioned.

As for when the rental motor vehicle scenario may get improved, that is up in the air.

The earliest estimates are following calendar year, but not until eventually following the microchip lack will get better, the Washington Submit claimed. In Could, the every day median cost for an Avis car or truck rental nationwide sat at $68.07 and could leap to $103.40 in August. Other rental auto corporations are not a lot improved. The day-to-day median selling price for Hertz in August is predicted to arrive at $114.49, virtually 150% higher than its pre-pandemic amount.

Profile Image of Chase Karacostas

Chase Karacostas writes about tourism in Myrtle Beach front and across South Carolina for McClatchy. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020 with levels in Journalism and Political Communication. He started working for McClatchy in 2020 just after escalating up in Texas, the place he has bylines in three of the state’s major print media stores as effectively as the Texas Tribune masking state politics, the ecosystem, housing and the LGBTQ+ local community.

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