CAR RENTALS

MISSOULA, Mont. -  Many people across the county, especially in Montana, are currently not able to reserve or book a rental car today or for summer travel. This is due to COVID's impact on supply and demand from the manufactures.

Travel Café Operations Manager Betsy Baumgart said some rental companies in 2020 sold off a lot of the cars on their lots and are now challenged with replacing the inventory they once had.

Montana, being a national hotspot for vacations, means locals are not alone in the hunt for a rental car.

If you're still trying to get your hands on a rental car, you may need to adjust your travel routes, or even the timeline of upcoming summer vacations.

"We just have to work together and "Be flexible" and think out of the box and be creative so we can enjoy a nice vacation get away," Baumgart said. 

Despite longer wait times, Montanans and tourists eager to explore still have options, if they're willing to plan ahead. 

"Plan early, you know? Plan now for next summer... You'll be able to get the flight, the car, probably the place you want at a reasonable cost... Especially if they are coming to Montana or trying to travel in Montana because of the huge influx we are experiencing," Baumgart said. 

The rental car shortage is expected to last further into 2021.

For those still trying to travel over the summer, it is recommended to consider taking your personal vehicle on getaways, or make your rental reservations well ahead of time with a travel professional. 

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