Canada's rental 'carpocalypse'; the real price of restaurant wine: CBC's Marketplace cheat sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week.

Consumer and health news you need from the week

Car rental companies slashed their fleets when demand plummeted in 2020, and now they can't ramp up fast enough to meet demand. (Edgard Garrido/Reuters)

Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.

Canada's facing a car rental shortage. Here's why

If you're looking to rent a car and hit the road this summer, you might run into some trouble.

That's because a car rental shortage  — or a "carpocalypse" as it's been dubbed in the U.S. — is ongoing in Canada, as supply chain problems throw car rental supply and demand out of whack.

At the onset of COVID-19, car rental reservations plummeted, prompting companies to drastically downsize fleets and lay off workers. 

But as Canada begins to reopen, many rental companies are having trouble rebuilding their fleets, especially due to a global shortage of semiconductors that has crippled vehicle production and caused lengthy delays for new cars and trucks. Read more

An ongoing shortage of semiconductors has made it so that automakers can't make enough new cars to satisfy demand. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

Which bottle of wine at a restaurant has the biggest markup? The answer may surprise you

If you're wondering how to get the most bang for your buck while sipping some wine on a patio this summer, listen up. 

A report from British researchers at the London School of Economics and the University of Sussex attempts to answer that age-old question — and the numbers hint at some counterintuitive conclusions.

The researchers looked at 249 restaurants in London that had wine lists posted online and found the price of restaurant wine was, on average, about 300 per cent more than it would cost at the retail level. 

But that's not all they found. Where diners really get corked, the data suggests, is when they order wines numbered three through six on the menu. Then the markup can be more than 50 per cent higher, on average, than the best bargain on the list. Read more

British researchers examined wine lists at 249 restaurants in and around London and drew some interesting conclusions about which wines present the best value for money. (John Kolesidis/Reuters)

Ontario woman says family 'completely abandoned' by Hyundai after vehicle breakdown 

A Kitchener, Ont., woman says her family was stranded for hours in 30 C heat last month after their 2020 Hyundai Venue broke down on Highway 401 and the company's roadside assistance program failed to help get them home. 

"We felt we were completely abandoned by the company in that moment where we actually needed their help," said Shama Cunningham. 

They called roadside assistance — a service covered under their extended warranty package — and Bruce said the agents agreed to send a tow truck, but wouldn't arrange for a loaner vehicle or taxi. 

In an email statement, a spokesperson for Hyundai Canada apologized to the Cunningham family for the inconvenience.

Jennifer McCarthy said the company's agents tried to find a rental car for the family, but nearby agencies were closed on Sundays. 

Due to physical distancing protocols, McCarthy said, customers are responsible for arranging their own transportation while their vehicle is being towed. Read more

Bruce, Jessa and Shama Cunningham, left to right, were driving home from the cottage when their new Hyundai Venue lost power near Colborne, Ont. Despite having an extended warranty, the Cunninghams say they had to find their own way back home. (Talia Ricci/CBC)

What else is going on?

Major ransomware attack aimed at tech provider leaves other companies scrambling
Canada is among 17 countries with victims of attack, cybersecurity firm says.

Plenty of room for house prices in Canada to rise as interest rates stay low
The end of the real estate boom has been called before, but people keep buying.

This Halva has been recalled for salmonella contamination
Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to retailer.

These plant-based cakes have been recalled due to undeclared egg
Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

Marketplace needs your help

Have you bought CBD for yourself, your family, or even your pet? We want to hear from you! Tell us about your experience with CBD. Email us at

Catch up on past episodes of Marketplace anytime on CBC Gem.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now