This major travel cost is 50% higher than before the pandemic National

When budgeting for your trip, don’t assume that accommodation and airfare will be your biggest expenses. Now, more than ever, rental cars are becoming 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 biggest price increases of all travel expenses. Comparing prices for July 2022 and July 2019 (the last normal summer pre-pandemic), hotel prices rose 7%, according to the latest set of consumer price index data released in August 2022. Air fares are up 16%. But rental cars are up 48%.

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