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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
Rental car companies admit prices are increasing, mostly due to heavier city taxes, but the flexibility and independence they afford travelers continues to drive business despite higher costs.
Colby Reeves Jr. was used to renting a car to get around town on his frequent business trips. Now, Reeves says, high rental rates increasingly are forcing him to bypass the rental-car counter and head for the nearest subway stop or taxi stand.
Rental car rates vary from city to city, or by the day of the week. They can soar because of a convention or plummet because of a storm. But rates generally have been on the rise this year compared with 2012, and some frequent business travelers say costlier rentals are leading them to seek other ways to get to a meeting or hotel.
“It is almost always cheaper to take taxis than to rent a car, unless I can get a deal on (discount site) Priceline at the 11th hour,” he says. “It’s gotten crazy.”