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Think outside the box for a rental car and save thousands of dollars on your next vacation | FOX43 Finds Out

A rental car shortage is forcing people to find different ways to get around and vacation. FOX43 Finds Out looks at how some options can save you a lot of money.

HAWAII, USA — Need a pickup?

Check out my vacation car rental for a recent trip to Hawaii - a U-Haul.

Not exactly the luxury vehicle you would expect someone to rent for their honeymoon.

In today's current rental car market, it's all we could afford.

When I posted this photo on Facebook, a lot of you thought it was a great idea.

Others, like Brian Rusnock, said you were in the same boat after getting quotes from car rental companies.

"I've rented cars before and this was crazy," said Rusnock.

Here's what happened: At the beginning of the pandemic, car rental companies sold off portions of their fleet to make ends meet.

Now, car manufacturers can't make new vehicles fast enough to keep up with the demand.

That means people are either paying sky-high prices to secure a rental, or they're thinking outside the box.

Sometimes that box is a box truck, or in my case, a U-Haul pickup truck.

With just about 20 bucks a day to rent, and 80 cents a mile, it saved us thousands of dollars.

However, the Hawaii Tourism Authority says it "does not condone visitors renting moving trucks and vans for leisure purposes."

A U-Haul spokesperson said essentially the same thing adding, "our focus is not as a rental car operation, since we are a self-move and self-storage company catering to the DIY customer."

However, when we rented this Chevy Silverado, no one from uHaul asked what we were using it for and we handed over our Pennsylvania license. 

Although we did find another option: Turo.

It's essentially the Airbnb of rental cars.

People allow you to rent their own personal car for a few days. 

That's the solution the Rusnock family went with for an upcoming trip to Utah.

"The price was $700 less for the week than the actual rental car companies," said Rusnock.

However, a lot of Turo rentals may have hidden fees like insurance protection.

Rusnock said he found a way around that, "I found out that my insurance would cover everything just like I were driving my car, so I didn't have to go through Turo to insure me for the trip."

Here's what car rental company Enterprise Holdings, which owns Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent A Car, wrote in a statement: "Enterprise Holdings, like the rest of the industry, is seeing increased demand for vehicles for travel across all areas of the US. We anticipate this strong demand will continue throughout the summer. In addition to increased overall demand, other trends we are seeing are increases in the length of rentals and demand for specialty vehicles such as vans, pick-up trucks, convertibles, and large SUVs. If you’re planning travel, we encourage you to reserve a vehicle as early as possible. Providing flexible travel dates and branch pick up locations in your search may also help increase your options. In fact, enterprise.com has added a feature that helps to redirect customers to other nearby options – if available – during the online reservation process when they are booking if their selected option is showing no vehicle availability."

There are of course other options as well.

A good source to find information is the local tourism department for where ever you're traveling. 

If you're interested in the pros and cons of renting a Uhaul, I have a whole video just about that.

If you have a story you want Jackie to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com.