U.S. Car Rental Industry Sees Record $38.3B Revenue in 2023

The 5% growth year over year is low compared to the growth seen in 2021 and 2022, but that is actually good news.

There were about 2.3 million rental vehicles in the fleet across the U.S. in 2023. Image via Shutterstock.

The U.S. car rental industry hit a new milestone, achieving $38.3 billion in revenue in 2023, a significant 5% increase from the previous year's record of $36.1 billion, according to data compiled by Bobit for Auto Rental News' annual Fact Book.

The growth, however, is a slowdown from the explosive 23% and 30% year-over-year increases seen in 2021 and 2022. The slowdown was not only anticipated but also welcomed by industry experts, as it indicated a return to more normalized seasonal fleeting and de-fleeting patterns.

Despite this positive revenue trend, the industry faced challenges. Rising fleet and other operational expenses, which increased by at least 15%, significantly impacted earnings. This trend contrasts with the pre-pandemic peak of $32 billion in 2019, highlighting the industry's robust recovery and adaptation in a post-COVID market.

Further industry insights reveal the scale of operations in the U.S. car rental sector. The country now boasts approximately 16,000 rental outlets and locations, operating a total of 2.3 million rental vehicles. Enterprise Mobility, encompassing Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental, leads the pack, running more than half of all rental vehicles in the U.S.

The industry revenue per vehicle per month experienced a slight decrease, dropping to $1,412.50 in 2023 from $1,424 in 2022. This dip is attributed to an increased ratio of vehicles in service compared to the previous year, which recorded about 2.1 million vehicles in service.

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