Memorial Day madness: Visitors experience high prices, low supply when renting cars in Vegas

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Long lines, high prices and car shortages — that is what we are hearing when people try to rent a car lately in Las Vegas.

This problem is spanning the nation, after many rental car companies were forced to downsize during the pandemic.

Lines are forming as Memorial Day travelers try to book a ride at McCarran International Airport. While some signs say cars are available, a nationwide shortage is surging rates.

At the McCarran Rent-A-Car Center, travelers are hoping their reservation went through.

“It was a hassle to go through, a lot of windows were open in my laptops, going to try to get a good deal,” said Mohammed Hossain, visiting from North Carolina.

Some booked months ahead of time.

“We knew Vegas over Memorial Day would be busier, and so we wanted to make sure we had some transportation and not have to rely on Uber,” said Kirsten Cheskey, visiting from Philadelphia.

Others went through third-party sites.

“All the agencies said they were sold out, no cars available,” said Nathan Wills, visiting from Connecticut. “Getting here I was able to go through Priceline and reserve a car.”

While many were able to book a ride, it came at a cost.

“It seems like the cost of the rental cars now is almost double than what it used to be,” said Hugo Bonacci, visiting from Texas.

“We were trying to get a van or something like that and prices were rocket high,” added Hossain.

Cars from Enterprise, Avis, and Hertz are ranging from $100 to $400 a day. Some travelers say theirs’ cost between 200 to 350 dollars.

“It takes away from activities to have to pay that kind of money,” Bonnaci said.

While there are frustrations, some travelers, like Wills, are being patient.

“It is Memorial Weekend, coming off of COVID,” Wills said. “So, everyone took a big hit so a lot of places are trying to regroup. Unfortunately, we have to pay for it but I could understand.”

For those unable to secure a ride, McCarran International Airport is encouraging travelers to utilize ride share, taxis and public transportation within the city.

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