As the pandemic has resulted in major travel restrictions and decreased tourism, players in the car rental space have reduced their fleet sizes and, in some cases, temporarily shut down their outlets and lowered their number of employees. Car rental outlets in transition-heavy locations such as airports have experienced the worst performance, being much dependent on inbound tourists.
Being largely confined to travel in their own country since the outbreak of COVID-19, domestic consumers have helped mitigate the overall decline in demand, though car rental to local people is still down versus 2019. Companies have benefited from travellers wishing to maintain social distancing by avoiding crowds and the use of public transportation.
It is expected that car rental will recover slowly during the remainder of 2021 and return to 2019 value sales figures only during 2023. The business segment will recover slower than leisure due to companies’ adaptation to online meetings and events during the pandemic, meaning there will be less need for face-to-face meetings and events, reducing demand for business car rental.
Despite the impact of the health crisis on business, car rental companies have not stopped their development with regard to sustainability, which will continue to be an important trend in the forecast period. Examples of recent activity in this area include Hertz introducing to its fleet Polestar 2 in 2021, which is a 100% electric car that can travel up to 470km on a single charge and is fully integrated with Google.
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Car rental covers the short-term rental of passenger vehicles for self-drive by both business and leisure users, whether from the airport or downtown locations. Trucks and commercial vans are excluded. 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 (Destination) research and analysis database.
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