Watch Out For These 4 Car Rental Trends In A Post-COVID World
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Watch Out For These 4 Car Rental Trends In A Post-COVID World

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Bernadette Giacomazzo
Bernadette Giacomazzo Sep 17, 2021

When it comes to car rental trends in a post-COVID world, the best advice we can give is to pack your wallet and your patience.

According to Forbes, there are a number of reasons why a previously stable market is now in the process of fluctuation. At the beginning of the summer, there were the usual travel woes as the world began “opening up” again. But by the end of the summer, the devastating storms in the Gulf region and the Northeast meant that people were in desperate need of cars.

As such, the car rental trends fluctuated again.

“Those who combine road and air travel may be in for a nasty surprise when they arrive at the car rental counter,” reports the outlet. “Car rental companies were desperate for cash in the early days of the pandemic and sold off rental fleets in droves. However, demand has come back faster than supply, meaning that car rental prices have soared in many markets, with some reporting that even some customers with reservations won’t get a car at all.”

While car rental trends are always changing as the COVID cases continue to fluctuate, industry experts suggest that travelers can rely on the following four trends to continue into 2021 and beyond.

Strategic Partnerships

Petri Oeschger

As car rental demands increase, expect rental companies to form strategic partnerships with travel companies that can serve as a sales funnel of sorts.

A perfect example of this trend can be found with the Hertz Corporation’s recent partnership with Aeroméxico to feed consumers into the Mexican car rental market.

“Growing adoption of growth strategies such as mergers & acquisitions by key players is expected to foster the growth of the market,” reports Global Banking and Finance. “For instance, in August 2021, Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that Hyatt has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Apple Leisure Group (ALG), a luxury resort-management services, travel, and hospitality group, from affiliates of each of KKR and KSL Capital Partners, LLC for $2.7 billion in cash.”

We can expect more of these types of partnerships in the near future.

A Sharp Decrease In Prices

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With travel still being on shaky ground, there will be a significant drop in rental car prices. And, according to Insider, this could be good for the overall travel economy.

“The August slide is likely the start of a “sustained drop,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said,” said the outlet. “Some of the spring surges were fueled by rental fleets buying cars at auction for the busy summer season. That trend is over, and falling used vehicle prices should dampen overall inflation in the months ahead.”

The Rise in Camper Rentals

Photo by Charlie Rogers

Because people are finding all-inclusive vacations to be preferable to booking piecemeal, the need for camper rentals will be increasing in 2021 and beyond.

And, according to a recent report by Stillwater Current, RV manufacturers are prepared to meet that demand.

“The pre-and post-COVID impact on the market growth and development is well depicted for better understanding of the Recreational Vehicle Rental Market based on the financial and industrial analysis,” reports the company. “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a number of markets, and the Global Recreational Vehicle Rental Market is no exception. However, the dominating players of the Global Recreational Vehicle Rental Market are adamant to adopt new strategies and look for new funding resources to overcome the rising obstacles in the market growth.”

Surges During Peak Periods

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If you’re looking — or needing — to rent a car during the holiday season, be prepared to not find one. And, if you do, be prepared to pay a premium price.

“The demand for car rentals in the U.S. this holiday season is already up 229 percent compared to 2019 and up 244 percent compared to 2020, an indicator that we could experience another car rental shortage this holiday season as we’re seeing an increase in those searching further in advance for car rentals than years prior,” reports Travel + Leisure.

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