Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

Reasons Why Rental Car Rates Will Remain High in North America

No relief is in sight for the foreseeable future.

The current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — as well as shortages of magnesium, semiconductors, and rubber — created an unprecedented imbalance in the automobile industry with which demand substantially outpaced supply, which led to significantly higher rates when renting vehicles because of a severe shortage of cars…

Reasons Why Rental Car Rates Will Remain High in North America

Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

…but the recent blockade of trucks at the border which the United States and Canada shares has caused some factories and plants of automobile companies in both countries to either slow down the production of cars or reduce or eliminate the shifts of employees — or temporarily shut down altogether — because they are not receiving the parts which are needed to build vehicles…

…and fewer vehicles being manufactured means two things for the rental car industry: that supplies will likely remain low despite greater demand — and that rates will remain high for the foreseeable future.

Truckers have organized the blockade on the Canadian side of the Ambassador Bridge — which carries approximately 25 percent of all trade between the two countries with approximately $323 million worth of goods on average — demanding an end to the restrictions which Canada has imposed in response to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in preventing traffic from crossing the bridge from Detroit in Michigan to Windsor in Ontario. Traffic on the bridge from Canada to the United States has been reportedly still moving.

Other key bridges and crossings between Canada and the United States have also been blocked by truckers since Sunday, February 6, 2022 during what has been called the Freedom Convoy 2022. Protesters have also been blocking the border crossing at Coutts in Alberta for approximately ten days; and greater than 400 trucks have paralyzed downtown Ottawa due to a protest which began late last month in January of 2022 — effectively shutting down the capital city of Canada.

Official Responses to the Protest by Truckers

Welcome to Canada sign
Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.

Joesph Biden and Justin Trudeau — who are the current president of the United States and the current prime minister of Canada respectively — have been in discussions with each other over the blockade of trucks at the border. Jen Psaki — who is the current press secretary for The White House — said at a press conference in the press briefing room at The White House yesterday, Friday, February 11, 2022 that Biden and Trudeau:

…discussed the ongoing blockade of key bridges and crossings between the United States and Canada, including Detroit/Windsor, Sweetwater/Coutts, and Pembina/Emerson.

The two leaders agreed that the actions of the individuals who are obstructing travel and commerce between our two countries are having significant direct impacts on citizens’ lives and livelihoods.

The President expressed his concern that the United States — that United States companies and workers are experiencing serious effects, including slowdowns in production, shortened work hours, and plant closures. The Prime Minister promised quick action in enforcing the law. And the President thanked him for the steps he and other Canadian authorities are taking to restore the open passage of bridges to the United States.

In turn, the Prime Minister also thanked the President and his administration, the Governor of Michigan, and U.S. officials for all of the assistance that we have provided to resolve the disruption. And the two leaders agreed to stay in close touch.

Meanwhile, a judge in Canada granted an injunction which ordered the protesters to leave the bridge — but despite the deadline passing, the number of people protesting has only increased.

An official state of emergency has been declared by Doug Ford — who is the current premier of Ontario — which threatens steep fines of up to $100,000.00 in Canadian dollars and jail time unless protesters end what he calls their “illegal occupation” of the border.

Final Boarding Call

Road signs
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Truck drivers in the United States, France, New Zealand, and other countries worldwide have started to take action in support of the protesters in Canada — which could eventually have negative implications on the global automobile industry…

…which could then affect the worldwide rental car market as well — keeping rates high due to increased demand versus low supply.

As I have said in this article here at The Gate back on Friday, May 29, 2020, this is what happens when populations are locked down for months — especially when so-called “leaders” and “experts” conjure ineffective responses for the sake of preserving their own legacies and attempting to appear as though they are doing something constructive in response to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic and other pressing issues…

All photographs ©2013, ©2020, and ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

  1. I disagree completely!

    Rental car prices and car purchase prices are high because of a lack of supply. This lack of supply was caused by the reckless decision to shut down countries two years ago. When no one is allowed to go to work nor is anyone allowed to build anything… supply goes way down. When our government allows supplies to sit idle at docks for months on end… supply will go down. When workers face many insane vaccine and mask and testing mandates that make it impossible to properly do their job… supply will go down. And prices will go up. This was completely caused by overbearing and unnecessarily restrictive government policies over the last two years.

    The Freedom convoy is a peaceful attempt by hard working people to showcase that removing the mindless restrictions will allow them to complete their job effectively, thus building and transporting parts and products that will attempt to pull these countries out of their current pit.

    Less than two weeks into a peaceful protest, both the government of Canada and the United States are calling these behaviors criminal and setting out to end them – and then blame the protestors for the shortcomings of their own administration. Yet, two years ago, when tens of thousands violent protestors attacked our cities, injuring innocent people and literally burning communities to the ground – our governments were all about the right to protest and let the violent attacks carry on for months in end.

    If the Freedom convoy succeeds, we will be free from unnecessary restrictions that have caused undue burden on all citizens. If they fail, we will be in the same horrible position our governments have sunk us into over the last two years.

    In absolutely no way will the Freedom convoy make rental car rates go up. They have only the potential to reverse the current trend. And our government has once again shown they have no intention of allowing something that positive to occur.

    1. I did not mean to imply that the truck drivers themselves are the cause of the problem, NB_ga. I blame the so-called “leaders” and “experts” to whom I alluded at the end of the article as the main cause of the general disruption of the planet by not only not being prepared to deal with a worldwide pandemic — but also to panic and not implement sound solutions on how to deal with it…

      …which is why so many things are wrong these days. We should not be experiencing all of these mandates, lockdowns, and restrictions which have done little to mitigate the pandemic — I am being generous here and giving the benefit of the doubt — but those same mandates, lockdowns, and restrictions have caused far more harm and disadvantages than actual solutions. Here is one of many examples:

      I have no numbers to prove this; but I even believe more deaths have been caused by the panic overreactions, the “virtue signaling”, and the otherwise nonsensical “solutions” which have been forced down our throats than the 2019 Novel Coronavirus itself.

      As for truck drivers, I have great respect for them and what they do — other than the few bad apples who do not seem to know how to drive.

      I generally agree with your point of view, NB_ga. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      1. “I have no numbers to prove this”.

        Exactly. You barely have two brain cells to put anything together. Please stop theorizing on topics you know nothing about. I’m surprise this is still considered a travel blog and it’s not on a QAnon network already.

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