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Rental car agencies dealing with vehicle shortage due to the pandemic

Rental companies were forced to sell off cars last year. Now that travel is picking up after the vaccine, there aren't enough cars to go around.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If you're planning a post-vaccine vacation, you might want to go ahead and book your rental car now. 

Experts say because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they're getting hard to come by and getting more expensive.

As more people get the COVID vaccine, families are looking to travel, but they're running into a roadblock: a lack of rental cars. 

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So what's the deal?

According to reports, rental car agencies were hit hard by the pandemic. To make up for the lost revenue, they sold off cars. Now that people are heading out again, there aren't enough to around, and experts say it won't be easy for these companies, like Enterprise, Alamo and Avis, to increase their supply quickly. 

RELATED: Airlines hopeful new CDC guidelines will be incentive to get COVID-19 vaccine

New cars are in short supply as manufacturers deal with a computer chip shortage (this has also affected Sony's distribution of its PlayStation 5 console). So now the big rental companies are trying to shuffle around their existing supply to get cars where travelers need them. 

RELATED: 'These tickets aren't cheap': Man finally gets refund for indefinitely postponed Rolling Stones show

So what can you do? 

If you're on a short trip, include more days in your search. This can sometimes reveal more options at the airport. You can also look beyond traditional rental car companies. Turo is a car-sharing app that lets owners rent out their vehicles. Sort of like Airbnb but for cars. 

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