Car rental (destination) services suffered notably during the time of the pandemic, particularly so due to the decline in inbound travellers and the loss of business travel and associated car rental services. The category also saw a slow start as travel began to resume, especially during the first half of 2021 when COVID-19-related measures were still very strict (e.
In order to cut costs in the face of low demand, the fleets of car rental companies are significantly smaller in 2021 than compared to 2019, prior to the pandemic. Europcar (from ARAC GmbH in Austria) is the only player with a notable reduction of outlets (in addition to reduced fleets), with a total of four outlets closed since the outbreak of the pandemic in Austria.
The forecast in car rental is heavily impacted by the pandemic and total value sales are not expected to reach 2019 levels until the end of the forecast period. The main reason for this is the expected moderate performance in business car rentals, due to a sustainable decrease in business travel (no matter if inbound, outbound, or domestic) in the face of a drastically increased role of video calls and online conferences during the pandemic.
The forecast in leisure car rental is far less impacted by the pandemic, as total value sales in leisure car rental are estimated to reach 2019 levels around 2023. However, leisure car rentals are expected to remain on a very limited level and absolutely not able to compensate for the losses in business car rentals.
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Car rental covers the short-term rental of passenger vehicles for self-drive including small vans by both business and leisure users, whether from the airport or downtown locations. Small vans up to one tonne are included. For longer than average rental periods, eg rental of one month, provided the rental is sourced from the short-term rental fleet, this transaction is included. Car rental value covers the price of car hire to the consumer. Ancillary revenues are included, such as the hire of baby car seats, GPS navigation systems, optional roadside assistance services and collision and damage waivers. Volume is provided by the number of car hire transactions, fleet size and number of car rental operators. In underdeveloped markets, car rental companies offer chauffeur-driven cars. Most people prefer these options, due to unfamiliarity with the roads. Euromonitor International includes chauffeur-driven cars in car rental, when they concern car rental companies such as Hertz or Avis, which offer a chauffeur-driven service as an additional option. Car rental covers sales to inbound tourists and domestic tourists. i.e. from a destination point of view (also known as point of supply). For example, if a US citizen books a car rental service in France via the US offices of Hertz, the sales are attributed to Hertz France. The same applies for online sales. Car rental excludes long-term leasing, commercial vehicles, trucks and motorbikes and local car sharing schemes.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Car Rental research and analysis database.
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