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Rent-a-car sector: insights and projections

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Global Vehicle Renting & Leasing Industry

The vehicle renting & leasing industry is a part of the automotive service sector.

The global car rental sector can be divided into two main categories: insurance replacement rentals and other general rentals. The insurance replacement sector is involved in renting vehicles to people who have lost their own vehicles through accident, breakdown or theft. The general sector encompasses both airport and non-airport segments, and covers companies renting cars mostly to business and leisure travelers.

As the car rental industry is not guided by regulatory standards, it is not tied to generalized business patterns, reports Global Industry Analysts. Companies, therefore, are aiming simply to boost revenue when devising a set of rules to follow. Customers can be at a disadvantage concerning price and service due to the unregulated nature of this system, and tend to research local agencies and consult online offers to find the best rental prices. 

Regional Market Share

The car rental sector continues to record strong growth in developed countries, with the US dominating the global rental industry, followed by the EU and other developed markets, reports Koncept Analytics. Growth potential in emerging markets like Brazil, China, and India bodes well for continued industry development.

IBISWORLD predicts the US car rental market will generate revenue of almost $31 billion in 2012, representing a yearly decline of around 0.5%. It is expected to witness almost 6% expansion in 2012, pointing to a good level of recovery. Larger companies draw on significant marketing budgets to promote brand recognition and relationships with hotels and airlines to increase market share. On the other hand, smaller outfits tend to focus their efforts on a specific market or geographic zone. Market concentration should grow over the next five-year period as smaller outfits merge with other local players.

Brazil’s car rental sector is being fuelled by a growing tourism industry, with increased passenger flow at airports and infrastructure improvements to cater to both domestic and inbound tourism. Another factor favorable to growth in the Brazilian car rental industry is access to long-term financing and growth in the business tourist sector, reports BRICDATA. Obstacles to market growth include inferior infrastructure at airports, and state and local roads. In global terms, Brazil ranks seventh among car manufacturers and tenth in terms of the size of its car fleet.

China’s car rental market is driven by the country’s tourism sector, development of international airports and investment in infrastructure, reports BRICDATA. The majority of the country’s car rental outfits are local companies focusing on a specific geographic region. Many are taxi operators that have moved into the realm of car rental to diversify their business activity. Rising levels of disposable income are also contributing to industry performance. Rising interest rates represent an obstacle to market growth in China.

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Parent industry: Auto Services
Related industries: Auto Insurance, Auto Repair, Auto Financing

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