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.

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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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