Hawaii tourists turning to U-Haul amid rental car shortage
Local movers asked to call in advance in order to reserve equipment
Tourists in Hawaii, faced with a shortage of rental cars, have turned to U-Haul.
The company's local marketing office, which oversees all U-Haul transactions at more than 30 locations throughout the Hawaiian Island, is seeing a correlation between foreign addresses and driver's licenses accounting for tourists who are renting from U-Haul in higher volume, according to the company.
"We have seen a considerable uptick in U-Haul rentals from customers who are visiting the islands now," Kaleo Alau, U-Haul Company of Hawaii president, said in a statement to FOX Business.
That uptick translates to a vast majority of U-Haul vehicles on the islands are being rented on a daily basis.
"We realize this demand is occurring when tourists are unable to secure a rental car, or they learn that our rental fleet options are more affordable," Alau added.
Alau said that the surge is mainly geared toward the company's smaller vehicles such as its pickup trucks and cargo vans and that reservations for those vehicles are stretching from a few days to a week.
Normally, U-Haul's cargo vans and pickup trucks, which are used for "small jobs," are generally rented for shorter stretches of time. According to the company's website, scheduling for in-town rentals – which means the vehicle is picked up and dropped off at the same location – is "based on available time frames ranging from one hour up to a 24-hour rental period" although some locations allow for multiple-day rentals.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS
Over the last seven days, KAYAK is a travel search site, compared the most expensive rental car cities in the U.S. Four out of 10 were in Hawaii.
GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE
Meanwhile, in-town U-Haul rentals start out with a flat rate of $19.95 plus a per-mile charge and a fee for accident protection.
Alau said that many of the U-Haul stores and dealers on the islands have been left "with less available equipment than usual."
VACATION RENTAL HOME STAYS THIS SUMMER WILL COST YOU – IF YOU CAN FIND ONE
However, Alau said the company is committed to "working every day with our primary customer base – the islands’ residential movers – to ensure we can still meet their transportation needs."
Alau is now asking local movers to call in advance in order to reserve their equipment.