We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Rental car shortage - spend 1st night in Jackson?

Georgia
Level Contributor
33,107 posts
78 reviews
58 helpful votes
Rental car shortage - spend 1st night in Jackson?
Save

I would.

There's a rental car shortage this summer.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/hertz-avis-enterprise-rental-car-shortage-11618335385?mod=e2fb&fbclid=IwAR1FAv_YA9RE7VF64lxFDBPDTSn1V2RJHKgxF9IiPsz9rmRM1LyyFz0EoTw

"Travelers report sky-high prices and sold-out dates even in non-beach destinations like Kansas City, Houston and Memphis. Even travelers with reservations complain that they now sometimes show up and, with no cars on the lot, must wait for a car to be returned and cleaned before they can drive off."

That's happened to me before with business travel. I've asked to have a dirty car in order to get to a work appointment on time.

If people are late returning their cars, others may have to wait for a car to be returned.

Most flights into JAC are connections. If your incoming flight to SLC, MSP, etc is late, you'll have to wait for another connecting flight. That could put you 2 to 4 hours "late" - IF there's room for you on a connecting flight.

It's not a good idea to drive through the parks at night - for the safety of the animals in the parks and the occupants of your car.

Something to consider. To be safe, I would spend the first night in Jackson or GTNP before driving on to Yellowstone. Enjoy landing at one of the most beautiful airports anywhere and enjoy the first hours of your vacation in a beautiful surrounding. If you have to, you could cab or Uber to your hotel the first night and return to pick up your rental car when it's ready.

Also, Hertz has lost their lease at the JAC airport and Avis is moving back in. If you rent from an offsite vendor, it's not just outside the airport but a 20 minute (without traffic) drive away. That 40 minute round trip will add about an hour to your departure. More if you include the wait in line. At JAC, one person can wait for luggage while the other is in line for a rental car. At an offsite location, all on the shuttle van hit the lines at the same time.

It's about 1.5 hours from Jackson to the south gate and then 1 to 5 hours to YNP lodging depending on the lodging).

In this very unusual year, it may pay off to be more cautious. I hope no one shows up at an airport (Jackson, Billings, Bozeman, etc) and no rental car is waiting.

That IS happening nationwide right now.

14 replies to this topic
Georgetown, Kentucky
Level Contributor
602 posts
19 reviews
50 helpful votes
1. Re: Rental car shortage - spend 1st night in Jackson?
Save

Also worth mentioming is to check your fligts. Delta updated their schedule for mid June today and one of my flights was cancelled. I looked at alternative flights either earlier on June 11 or the next morning on June 12. I found when I tried to modify my pickup time with Enterprise no SUVs were shown as available even though I had one reserved.

I ended up changing to more convenient flights arriving at Jackson at 10 am on June 12. But had to downgrade to a large pickup truck instead of an SUV.

The rental car shortage makes everything more complicated.

Georgia
Level Contributor
33,107 posts
78 reviews
58 helpful votes
2. Re: Rental car shortage - spend 1st night in Jackson?
Save

Good point!

Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
17,967 posts
69 reviews
63 helpful votes
3. Re: Rental car shortage - spend 1st night in Jackson?
Save

Stray_chicken....With a handle like that you're a better fit for a pickup truck!

Georgetown, Kentucky
Level Contributor
602 posts
19 reviews
50 helpful votes
4. Re: Rental car shortage - spend 1st night in Jackson?
Save

Haha. We do like to do things a little differently. I actually got the nickname because I used to feed some stray chickens after their owner abandoned them.

I am thinking the pick up will have some advantages. It is not as popular so its seems less likely to be over sold. We have a pick up at home and since covid we have had lots of picnics eating carryout on the tailgate. That seems like it will work well. I am also thinking we may be able to fit rental bikes from the snow lodge in the back to bike the path to lone star geyser. But I may be overestimating the size of the bed.

Disadvantages are gas mileage and luggage storage. We will being a tarp, garbage bags, amd bungee cords in case we need it for rain. Also less roomy interior but it will just be us and our 2 kids (had one more adult but he backed out)

I am also reading that credit cards dont cover rental damage for a pick up. So I will cal my insurance agency and make sure we are covered.

Edited: April 18, 2021, 8:46 am
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
17,967 posts
69 reviews
63 helpful votes
5. Re: Rental car shortage - spend 1st night in Jackson?
Save

Thanks. I’m glad you’re a good sport. I came about an eyelash away from deleting that!😀Have a great trip. I think it’s sweet how you got your nickname.

Spery, Iowa
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
23,763 posts
187 reviews
70 helpful votes
6. Re: Rental car shortage - spend 1st night in Jackson?
Save

Stray_chicken, don't forget you can't leave food in the back of the truck.

Raleigh, North...
Level Contributor
97 posts
40 reviews
21 helpful votes
7. Re: Rental car shortage - spend 1st night in Jackson?
Save

Thanks onemoreroad. Great info about car rentals onsite vs offsite. It looks like the onsite rentals are Alamo, Enterprise and Hertz (soon to be Avis as you mentioned).

I just got back online to start booking the rest of our trip -- I booked air and hotel in January then took a break. I think I need to secure a car now for our trip first week of October. I am hoping for a small SUV with AWD. *fingers crossed*

Georgia
Level Contributor
33,107 posts
78 reviews
58 helpful votes
8. Re: Rental car shortage - spend 1st night in Jackson?
Save

Good luck!

Leander, Texas
Level Contributor
783 posts
4 reviews
1 helpful vote
9. Re: Rental car shortage - spend 1st night in Jackson?
Save

It would suck to be carless and staying in the park.

Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
17,967 posts
69 reviews
63 helpful votes
10. Re: Rental car shortage - spend 1st night in Jackson?
Save

Randy....Back in my college days I spent many a summer hitching through all the US national parks. YNP/GTNP many times. There are plenty of foreign and US students still doing it. I picked up 3 French women in 2018 and spent a week with them showing them around. That's all. Obviously not recommended for families..:-)

Reply to: Rental car shortage - spend 1st night in Jackson?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Jackson
© 2021 TripAdvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in Philippines. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.