Myrtle Beach tourists driving U-Hauls amid rental car shortage

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Myrtle Beach area U-Haul Neighborhood Dealers said more people are using U-Haul vans and trucks as an alternative to traditional rental cars because of the lower price.

Billie Gibbs is in Myrtle Beach for the week from West Virginia and rented a pick up truck from U-Haul Wednesday.

“I decided it was cheap enough that I just kept it for the extra four days that I’m going to be here,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs flew to Myrtle Beach and had been driving around in a golf cart. She said one of her friends saw a family last week doing the same thing.

“She was even laughing because somebody at the resort she stayed at was driving a U-Haul truck…because it was cheaper for them to do that than to rent a car,” Gibbs said. “Hey, if they saved several hundreds of dollars it’d be worth it right?”

Data from Kayak, an online travel agency, showed a 95% increase in rental car prices in Myrtle Beach over 2019. The average price for a rental car in Myrtle Beach in the past week was $132 per day.

U-Haul rentals start at $19.95 per day.

Coastline Pet Supply in Socastee and Strand Storage Center in Myrtle Beach both serve as U-Haul Neighborhood Dealers. Coastline said June was its busiest month of rentals ever and has had a few customers stop in for a rental directly from the airport. Strand Storage estimates it rented pickups or small box trucks to 20 people on vacation in the past month while helping others make similar reservations at nearby locations when none were available to rent.

The U-Haul locations all echoed each other and pointed out that the pick up trucks, cargo vans and 10-foot box trucks were the most popular choices for people who just needed a set of wheels to get around town.

Coastline owner Tommy Morris has been a U-Haul dealer for 12 years and said they offer a cheap solution for people in a crunch.

“A lot of locations will have multiple pickups and multiple cargo vans, and if you can’t find any other type of transportation, that works,” Morris said.

One of the 10-foot box trucks returned to Coastline Pet Supply late Wednesday afternoon was rented and driven around town by a pair of vacationers, according to Morris. He said they had all their luggage and left the store in an Uber. Morris guessed they were on their way to the airport.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories