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Rentals cars: Bozeman’s latest crunch

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (2) – 6/2/21

A nationwide shortage of semiconductors has slowed car manufacturing, affecting inventory, namely rental car inventory in high-tourism areas. Bozeman is feeling the crunch as families flock to the area to visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and are finding basic sedans going for over $1,000 per day, if they’re lucky to get a car at all. Many rental agencies even sold off larger rental vehicles last year as large-group travel slowed due to the pandemic, and now a nationwide shortage of new inventory is leaving them in a bind. On top of this, many families are traveling for the first time in over a year and Yellowstone is expecting its busiest year on record. The nation’s first national park has already seen a 40-percent increase this April when compared to April 2019, which held the previous record.

“I even went as far as possibly renting a U-Haul truck, because we just had to have something. I didn’t care as long as we had four wheels,” Josh Buchanan, who is visiting the park in June with his wife, told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. He settled on a jeep for five days at $1,601. “This is essentially doubling the cost of our vacation on the rental alone, which does not include gasoline.”

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