Rental car rates rise as Toyota recall shrinks fleet


Rental car rates became even more expensive this week as agencies nationwide grappled with the loss of scores of recently-recalled Toyotas now sitting in mechanics' garages waiting for retrofits.

The dilemma prompted one of the country's largest agencies, Hertz, to say that it won't honor coupons or promotions for new rentals for at least several weeks until it adds popular mid-sized and full-sized Toyota models back into its inventory.

"We've scaled back on the number of deals and promotions we have out there," Paula Rivera, Hertz' manager of public affairs, told WalletPop. She declined to say how many of Hertz' vehicles were affected, but the company's 2008 annual report states that Toyota models make up 13% of its fleet worldwide.