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Car Rentals Could Be a Challenge Over Holiday, Especially Out East

Rentals reportedly in short supply due to Hurricane Sandy.

by on Nov.21, 2012

With so many vehicles destroyed by the superstorm, demand for rentals may exceed supply this holiday along the East Coast.

By various estimates, Superstorm Sandy destroyed as many as 200,000 cars when it swept through the Atlantic Coast three weeks back.  The impact could be felt not only by those who’ve lost their wheels but by countless thousands of travelers who will struggle to find a rental vehicle over the holiday weekend.

Despite shifting tens of thousands of cars to the tri-state New York area and other of the hardest-hit regions, rental firms are barely keeping up with demand for local residents who need temporary transportation. It is even more difficult for those who’re dropping in for the holidays.

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“Tight availability is typical of any holiday weekend,” explained Paula Rivera, a spokesperson for Hertz. “For those who haven’t made reservations, the availability is extremely tight at this point in time. So the probability of securing a car for travel over Thanksgiving weekend is slim,” she told the NPR-affiliated Transportation Nation.

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Superstorm Likely to Hit New, Used Car Buyers in the Wallet

But you could get more for your trade-in over the coming months.

by on Oct.31, 2012

Cars float out of a flooded garage in Manhattan after Superstorm Sandy drove record floodwaters into the city. Photo courtesy Ray Wert, Jalopnik.

With much of the Eastern Seaboard still digging out and drying out from Superstorm Sandy estimates now put the damage at anywhere up to $50 billion, perhaps more.  But in the weeks to come, even consumers as far away as the West Coast could feel the pinch.

That is likely to be especially true for car buyers.  Early estimates suggest that tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of vehicles were damaged to the point they will need to be replaced.  And that is likely to drive up prices for both new and used vehicles in the weeks and months ahead, experts warn.

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If there’s a positive side for consumers it could mean better prices for those looking to trade in a car. For the industry, it’s likely to add even more momentum to the U.S. automotive market’s ongoing recovery.

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