Mother Nature Causes El Paso Rental Car Shortage

Auto rental companies in El Paso, Texas usually get plenty of business traveler demand, but after a hailstorm in the area damaged many residents’ vehicles during the week of Sept. 14, rentals are nearly impossible to find at the moment, according to the El Paso Times.

Many El Paso residents’ vehicles are undergoing dent or glass repair. The Texas Insurance Council estimated the Sept. 16 hailstorm damaged about 20,000 vehicles, 10,000 homes and caused $150 million in damage. The estimated total number of rental cars available in the city was well below 4,000.

The Budget Car Rental in El Paso reports it is out of vehicles. National and Alamo in El Paso have not taken reservations in a week, and the local Hertz has brought in cars from nearby markets and has bought new cars to handle the demand.

Insurance agents said car owners with damaged vehicles should delay getting their cars repaired if the cars are driveable.

UPDATE 9/30/09:

Budget Car Rental in El Paso reported to Auto Rental News today that on the day the El Paso Times called the location had been sold out (which is not unusual for car rental operations in El Paso during early to midweek). However, the hailstorm has not affected its ability to take reservations and rent vehicles. Cars are now available.

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