CAR RENTAL RATES SOAR. Car rental rates are one area where travelers are seeing HIGHER rates this summer. Significantly higher in a lot of cases. In mid-June, weekly airport rental rates for a compact car averaged about $350, compared with just $210 a year ago — a 65 percent jump, according to the New York Times. The reason is basic supply and demand. While demand is down slightly, rental agencies have cut their fleets by even more, creating their own shortage and jacking up prices. One smart way to get around higher car rental rates is to buy a package deal—where you get airfare and car rental together in a package— by doing so, you can save about 30% off your rate.