In the early days of the pandemic in March 2020, the US government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided financial relief to individuals and small businesses as well as a substantial pool of funds for the airline and hospitality industries. Notably absent from the list of beneficiaries was the car rental industry.
As the US travel industry shows signs of recovery, particularly in domestic travel, car rental companies are struggling to keep up with the rapidly increasing demand from travellers. Similar to the airline industry, which is also experiencing a surge in bookings during the summer months of 2021, car rental companies are struggling to provide staff and fleet size to meet demand.
While the effects of rental car shortages are frustrating for consumers, they could pave the way for peer-to-peer car-sharing networks to experience rapid growth in the years ahead. Unable to book rental vehicles through large companies like Hertz, Avis, and Enterprise, many consumers are instead turning to carsharing rental companies like Turo and Getaround.
With domestic travel in the US ramping up during summer 2021, rental companies and consumers alike have felt the pressure of rapidly growing demand for rental vehicles. Despite the challenges, domestic travel recovery presents a fantastic opportunity for growth for car rental companies.
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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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