Monday, 30 November 2020 23:20

COVID-19 Survey of Rental Car Companies: Rates, Revenues, Optimism Rebound in Q3

Written by Chris Brown, Auto Rental News


...their staffing levels had at least stayed the same from the second into the third quarters, with more respondents increasing their staffing (23%) compared to decreasing. 


Mirroring the response on employee count, a majority of respondents said they kept their staff hours the same from the second to the third quarters, while an even percentage of respondents either increased hours (20%) or decreased hours (20%.) The key takeaway---operators are meeting the increase in third-quarter business with static staffing levels and hours.


Fleet Gains


As business almost ground to a halt by mid-April, the great majority of respondents couldn’t shed fleet because the wholesale market’s infrastructure ground to a halt too. By the second quarter, operators were still faced with business losses, but the lack of new and used supply and constriction of auction lanes generated red hot prices. Car rental consignors took advantage.


By the third quarter---usually the busiest for car rental---operators were instead selling fleet. Note that 37% to 48% of respondents acquire all of their vehicles as risk units as opposed to through manufacturers’ repurchase programs.


Revenue Recovery


In the first survey, half of respondents said their first quarter revenue was down by 51% to 100%. Note the pandemic hit in the second half of the quarter.


By the second survey, the revenue drop had accelerated, with 76% of respondents saying revenue had decreased 51% to 100%. The third quarter revealed...

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