The cost of renting a car is on the rise in the U.S. The average cost of a new car in 2017 was $17,000, up about 3 percent from the year before, according to the National Association of Realtors.
But even with the price increase, the number of people renting cars has fallen in recent years, to 7.3 million in 2016, from 10.9 million in 2015.
That’s the first decline since 2008.
Some argue that the trend is driven by the rising cost of living and the country’s slowing economy.
But a survey of more than 1,400 people conducted by the non-profit Center for Automotive Research in December found that the number who are renting cars is not driven by affordability, but by a lack of choices.
The median price of a car in 2016 was $15,878, according the survey.
But people are choosing to rent cars over a wide variety of reasons, including getting out of a debt-ridden marriage, a family emergency, or to make the commute to work, according an industry report released last week.
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Rental prices have also risen significantly in the past few years, according for example to a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
In 2016, a Ford Fusion with a 2.5-liter engine rated at 36 mpg was priced at $30,095.
By 2025, that price had jumped to $41,633.
Car rental app Uber has expanded its services to cover nearly half of the U-M student population, according a statement by the company.
The company will now be available to students at the College of Engineering, according, Uber spokeswoman Brooke Anderson.
The College of Design has added more than 100 new programs, including one for women, Anderson said.
The new programs include the option to use the app to book a rental car or for an Uber ride, Anderson added.
Uber also announced plans to open up more car rental programs at the university to help students find a place to live and rent.
As part of its new programs for students, the University of Michigan also plans to partner with other partners to expand access to its student car rental program.
University of Southern California is working with the nonprofit group Ride with the Plan to make it easier for students to book cars and for drivers to book rides.
Uber, which is based in San Francisco, plans to start offering rides in the spring for people who qualify for UberX, the service that allows students to rent their own cars.