person standing next to UHAUL (l) UHAUL sign on building with caption 'POV: All car rentals are booked up' (c) person opening UHAUL door (r)

@gesshernandez/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

‘At least we saved some money’: Travelers discover all rental cars are booked. They rent a U-Haul instead

‘It’s cheaper, it has AC and it works!’


Braden Bjella


Last year, the United States experienced a shortage of rental cars.

This occurred for a few reasons. Reduced business in the early days of the pandemic inspired car rental companies to sell off significant portions of their fleets, under the impression that they could buy more cars later to make up for the missing vehicles. Then, the subsequent increase in business that arrived as the pandemic waned came about at the same time that the country was experiencing a chip shortage that made buying cars difficult.

In fact, used cars frequently became more expensive than new cars due to the lack of availability for the latter.

While the rental car business has mostly returned to normal, that doesn’t mean that everyone is having an easy time renting cars.

One of those people facing car rental difficulties is TikTok user Gess (@gesshernandez). In a recent video with over 232,000 views, Gess says that all local rental vehicles were booked—so they got a U-Haul.

@gesshernandez At least we saved some money 🥸 #calgarystampede #fypシ #girlstrip ♬ Circus Music – The Hit Crew Kids

“POV: All car rentals are booked up,” she writes in the text overlaying the video. The video shows her and someone else getting into a U-Haul vehicle with their bags and beginning to drive. 

Gess noted in the caption and comments that she actually saved money by driving the vehicle as the initial rental price was low and the additional fee per kilometer didn’t matter as they only drove “within downtown.”

In the comments section, many users stated that this was a valuable hack even when there are rental cars available.

“I work for Hertz and at one point last summer it was cheaper to rent cargo vans,” recalled a user. “People were throwing a suitcase in the back like this and headed out.”

“It’s cheaper, it has AC and it works! Smart AF,” added another.

“I did this once when my car was getting fixed! only cost me $120 for the week,” claimed a third.

“I did this with the pickup truck when I was just needing a car to drive a couple miles a day for a week. Saved lots of money,” echoed an additional TikToker.

The Daily Dot reached out to Gess via TikTok comment.

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