This major cost of travel has increased 50% since before the pandemic national

When making your travel budget, don’t assume that accommodation and airfare will be your biggest expense. Now, more than ever, car rentals are shaping up to be one of the biggest — and stubbornly high — aspects of people’s vacation budgets.

While airfare and lodging prices are certainly near all-time highs, rental cars are among the highest-grossing of all travel expenses. When comparing prices for July 2022 versus July 2019 (the last normal summer before the pandemic), hotel prices rose 7%, according to the latest set of Consumer Price Index data released in August 2022. Airline tickets have increased by 16%. But rental cars have increased by 48%.

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