Average Length of Rental Continues Decline from Post-COVID Highs

While the average LOR for collision-related rentals is declining, it is still significantly higher than it was pre-pandemic.


New data from Enterprise showed the average length of rental (LOR) for collision-related rentals in Q1 2024 declined by just over one day year-over-year, to 17.6 days.

The results followed the typical trend of LOR decreasing in the first quarter of the year, and it also continued the steady decreases seen from post-COVID highs, with Q1 2023’s 18.7 days and Q1 2022’s 18.2 days.

However, it is still higher than the same quarter in 2021, when LOR was 13.3 days, and in 2020, when it was 13.2 days.

West Virginia had the highest overall LOR at 21.8 days, a 0.6-day increase from Q1 2023. Colorado had the second-highest LOR at 21.1 days, followed by Rhode Island (20.9) and Alaska (20.7).

North Dakota had the lowest LOR with 13.1 days, a 1.5-day drop from Q1 2023. Hawaii wasn’t far behind at 13.2 days, followed by Iowa at 13.6 days.

Only three states had increased LOR: West Virginia (+0.6), Maine (+0.2) and New Mexico (+0.2). Vermont and Delaware were flat.

Washington had the largest decrease of 2.3 days, closely followed by Montana and Louisiana at 2.1 days each, and South Dakota, Utah and Alaska at 2.0 days each.

John Yoswick, editor of the weekly CRASH Network newsletter, offered some insights from data he’s received.

“The continued decline in LOR in Q1 2024 aligns with the decline we’ve seen with repair shops’ backlog of work in the same timeframe," Yoswick said. "On a national basis, the average backlog reached a two-year low in January -- just shy of four weeks. That’s down by nearly two full weeks since the high of 5.8 weeks in the first quarter of 2023. But the average backlog remains significantly higher than the same period in January 2020 (2.1 weeks) and January 2021 (1.6 weeks).

“We’re also seeing continued decline in the amount of work-in-process (WIP) that shops have, which often benefits throughput, and can be another sign that parts-related challenges are easing a bit," Yoswick continued. "We measure WIP as the number of repair jobs that a shop has in-process compared to that shop’s typical monthly repair job count. The more than 550 shops that shared data with us in March had WIP that on average was equal to 57% of their typical monthly volume. That was down 11 points from the prior quarter, and 8 percentage points lower than a year earlier.”

Greg Horn, PartsTrader’s chief innovation officer, compared delivery day trends he is seeing.

“PartsTrader uses median delivery days, plus two standard deviations, to track the delivery times and the impact of the outliers," Horn said. "We compared the results of Q1 2024 median parts delivery data to the Q1 results for the preceding three years. Q1 2024 median delivery days for all parts saw an overall decrease of 1.9 days compared to Q1 2023.”

Horn also compared Q1 2024’s results to Q1 2021, finding median delivery days have not returned to 2021 levels, which correlates parts availability with length of repairable vehicle rentals: “While we have seen an impressive reduction in median delivery times for all part types, we are still not at 2021 and prior years’ performance levels.”

Asked what makes the difference, Horn offered: “There isn’t a single factor, such as a single manufacturer, union strike or port bottleneck; this is an industry struggling to reach pre-pandemic production and delivery levels, and we’re not there yet.”


For rentals associated with drivable claims, LOR was 15.8 days, a relatively minor 0.3-day drop from Q1 2023.

Rhode Island had the highest drivable LOR at 19.3 days, followed by Colorado at 19.0 days. West Virginia had the highest drivable increase, up 1.6 days to 17.6. New Mexico also saw a significant increase, up 1.2 to 18.0 days. Twenty other states, plus Washington, D.C., had drivable increases in Q1 2024.

The lowest drivable LOR was North Dakota with 10.4 days, followed by Hawaii at 11.8 days and Iowa at 12.0 days. California saw the largest drivable decrease, down 1.2 days, with Utah close behind with a full 1.0-day decrease.


Non-drivable LOR in the U.S. was 25.0 days in Q1 2024, a 2.5-day drop from Q1 2023.

West Virginia recorded the highest non-drivable LOR at 33.2 days. Colorado (30.6 days), Montana (30.5 days), New Mexico (30.4 days) and Alaska (30.2 days) all had non-drivable LOR greater than 30 days.

D.C. had the lowest non-drivable LOR with 20.6 days, followed by Iowa (21.0 days) and New York (21.9 days).

Vermont was the only state to record a higher non-drivable LOR over last year, as its Q1 2024 result of 27.5 days represented a 1.1-day increase.

South Dakota had the largest decrease, down six full days to 24.7 days. Both Louisiana and Washington had decreases greater than five full days (5.3 days and 5.0 days, respectively). Thirteen additional states, plus D.C., had non-drivable decreases greater than three days, with 29 additional states notching decreases greater than a full day.

“The percentage of shops in January that said they could schedule a job within two weeks (33%) was virtually unchanged from Q4 of 2023 but was 20 points higher than a year earlier, when just 13% of shops could schedule new work within two weeks,” said Yoswick.

He also observed that a backlog decline of any percentage between October and January is notable: “The first quarter is traditionally the busiest of the year, and in the eight-year history of backlog tracking through the ‘Who Pays for What?’ surveys, there had never been a decline in backlog between October and January. That might suggest the drop in backlog is more dramatic than the 1.3-day decline, compared to Q4 of 2023, reflects.”

Yoswick also tracks regional backlog differences, as they do vary: “The Southwest region, which includes California, reported a 1.9-week average backlog in January, a small increase from the prior quarter, but still the shortest average backlog of any region. The New England states reported a one-week jump in backlog to an average of 5.3 weeks, perhaps because of several snow events in January. The average backlog remained flat or down in the other parts of the country; the largest decline was in the Pacific Northwest, where the average fell 2.2 weeks to 4.7 weeks."

Ryan Mandell, director of claims performance for Mitchell International, added an interesting item to watch regarding calibration frequency, which adds time to the repair process.

“Calibration frequency in January 2024 increased to 21.35%, compared to 15.1% in January 2023," Mandell said. "The numbers from February and March have not developed enough to give a full picture of the Q1 numbers.”

Total Loss

LOR associated with total loss claims was 16.4 days in Q1 2024, a 2.0-day drop from Q1 2023.

West Virginia had the highest LOR at 20.1 days, followed by Kentucky at 19.4 days. North Dakota had the lowest LOR at 14.4 days, beating out Florida at 14.6 days and Iowa at 14.7 days.

As with non-drivable rentals, Vermont was the only state to see an increase in total loss LOR, up 0.9 days to 18.8 days.

Alabama’s total loss LOR of 16.4 days was unchanged.

Montana had the highest decrease, down 8.1 days to 15.8 days, beating the second-highest decrease in Washington (17.6 days, down 6.1). Twenty-eight other states had total loss decreases greater than two days.

“Overall, repairable claims volume fell by 0.87% in Q1 2024 compared to Q1 2023, fueled primarily by mild weather conditions in January through March," Mandell said. "A cooling used vehicle market also drove total loss frequency higher -- 20.8% in Q1 2024 vs 20.1% in Q1 2023. Overall total loss market values decreased by 1.96% in Q1 2024 compared to Q1 2023.”

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