Auto Rental News has tabulated the results of its third survey deployed to assess the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The survey was sent to independent and franchised (non-corporate) U.S. car rental operators and garnered 87 responses. It was conducted beginning Oct. 9 and tabulated Nov. 10.
The results of this survey, taken with the previous two---tabulated April 14 and May 19---tell the story of an industry that was initially devasted by the pandemic but is in an encouraging---if slow and uneven---process of recovery.
The respondents in this survey were 38% franchise and 51% independent, along with 8% dealership and 3% identifying as other. A plurality (30%) had fleet sizes of 100 to 499 units, with 23% from 50 to 99 units and 17% reporting greater than 500 units.
In terms of customer base, respondents were divided between 40% off-airport/neighborhood and 33% serving airport customers, with the remainder serving leisure destinations, dealerships and exotic rental customers. The average full-time employee count was 19 and part-time was seven.
As of April 14, the pandemic’s effect was clear. By the time the first survey was tabulated April 14, 83% of respondents said they had reduced staff hours. Of that group, 57% reported reducing hours by 51% to 100%, with 14% of respondents reducing staff 100%, indicating they closed their businesses, at least temporarily.
Note that in that first survey, 15% of respondents said that their government had forced them to shut down their business as a part of COVID-19 safety measures. By the second survey, 8% of respondents indicated a 100% reduction in hours.
The final survey, tabulated Nov. 10, reveals a stabilization in staffing. In that survey, a majority of respondents reported that...