By Andrew Ganz
Monday, Nov 19th, 2012 @ 12:40 pm
 

Looking to rent a car this Thanksgiving season in the Northeastern United States? You'd better get to the counter early.

Rental car agencies say that huge demand for their vehicles after Hurricane Sandy has virtually depleted inventory, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

High water and wind conditions saw thousands of cars from the Mid-Atlantic to New England either flooded or damaged by downed tree limbs. As a result, insurance companies have snapped up many available rental cars for their policy holders to use while they're either waiting for their cars to be assessed, repaired or replaced entirely. Other cars have gone to crews working to restore infrastructure in storm-damaged areas.

The newspaper looked at websites for the four largest rental car firms - Enterprise, Hertz, Avis Budget and Dollar Thrifty and found that some "key" locations were entirely sold out of rental cars.

In fact, an Enterprise representative told the paper that there are "significant waiting lists" in some areas for its rental cars.

The agencies have begun moving in vehicles from other markets to keep up with demand, which might help in the Northeast but will leave other markets a little short on rental vehicles until inventories can be built up.