Car rental industry statistics 2024

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There are over 3,000 car rental companies in the US; however, the industry is dominated by three companies that have high consumer recognition and have been around for many years: Enterprise, Avis and Hertz.

Due to competition from ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber, car rental companies have developed new services in which consumers can rent cars for periods as short as an hour. Car rental companies are also adding electric vehicles (EVs) and more technologically advanced cars to their fleets in response to consumer demands for environmental consciousness and greater safety.

Key insights

There were 3,362 car rental companies in the U.S. in 2023. But just three companies account for about 94% of the total car rental market share: Enterprise, which owns National and Alamo; Avis, which owns Budget, Payless Car Rental and Zipcar; and Hertz, which owns Dollar and Thrifty.

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In 2023, just over 18% of Americans aged 18 and older rented a car. Enterprise Rent-A-Car was the most popular car rental brand that year.

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Revenue in the U.S. car rental market was about $30 billion in 2023, which surpassed revenue records achieved before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Car sharing, in which drivers can rent cars for periods as short as one hour, is a growing segment of the car rental industry.

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General car rental industry statistics

ConsumerAffairs has compared and summarized top rental car company customer reviews for 20 major car rental brands. Among those are some of the brands owned by the three largest American car rental companies: Enterprise Mobility, Avis Budget Group and Hertz.

  1. Enterprise Mobility — the parent company of the Enterprise, National and Alamo car rental brands — leads the car rental market in terms of its number of locations and revenue. The company made an estimated $19.9 billion in revenue in 20226 and has an estimated 5,500 locations.
  2. Avis Budget Group is the parent company of Avis, Budget, Payless Car Rental and the car-sharing service Zipcar. In 2022, Avis Budget Group’s revenue was approximately $9.5 billion in the Americas, where its Avis and Budget brands had 4,190 locations. About 70% of Avis Budget Group’s revenue derives from its airport locations, and 64% of its customers use its rental cars for leisure rather than business.
  3. Hertz is the parent company of the Dollar and Thrifty car rental brands. Hertz has 5,500 locations, with 1,900 located in airports and 3,600 not in airports. The company’s 2022 revenue in the Americas was about $7.3 billion, of which 70% came from its airport locations. Cars were rented for leisure by 68% of its customers.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Budget were the most popular car rental brands over the past year, according to customers surveyed in January 2024.

Top companies that consumers rented a car from over the past year, according to survey responses:

Market shares of car rental companies

The U.S. market share for Enterprise Rent-A-Car was nearly 44% in 2017, which is a very impressive figure for a single car rental brand. Its parent company, Enterprise Mobility, had an even more impressive market share that year when factoring in its subsidiaries, which combined for a market share of 58.6%.

But that dominance diminished somewhat following the COVID-19 pandemic, and competitors Hertz and Avis made significant gains by 2023.

The influence of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the car rental industry. U.S. car rental revenues declined by about 30% from 2019 to 2020, and it created long-lasting disruption as car rental companies reduced their staff and car fleets.

  • Due to reduced demand, major car rental companies sold up to 770,000 cars, the equivalent of 1 in 3 cars that were previously rented to customers. Additionally, 40,000 jobs in the car rental industry were eliminated.
  • Hertz filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy for its U.S. operations on May 22, 2020. However, the company completed its bankruptcy restructuring process on June 30, 2021.
  • As consumers began to travel again after travel restrictions were lifted, car rental companies struggled to handle the renewed demand for their vehicles. Coupled with this challenge, there was an industry-wide semiconductor chip shortage, which limited the car rental companies’ ability to replenish their car fleets.
  • The combination of high customer demand for rental cars and the limited supply of those cars following the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a jump in rental car prices, which increased from an average of $76 per day in 2019 to $90 per day in 2022.

Revenue statistics

As consumers resumed traveling, attending work events and participating in conferences during the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the car rental industry bounced back. Revenue in 2023 surpassed annual revenue from 2019 by about 8%, marking the first year following the pandemic that the car rental industry’s revenue reached pre-pandemic levels.

An expected annual growth rate of about 1.6% will bring projected industry revenue to nearly $32.5 billion by 2028.

Recent and projected annual revenue for the U.S. car rental market ($B) with year-over-year (YoY) changes

Source: Statista, 2023.

Number of users/renters

In 2023, 48 million Americans used a car rental service, up 19.4% from 2022. This represents approximately 18% of Americans over the age of 18. The number of Americans using rental cars is expected to increase to 52 million in 2028, reflecting a 1.6% annual growth rate.

Recent and projected annual rental car users in the U.S. (in millions)

Impact of car-sharing services

Car rental companies are promoting car-sharing services as an alternative to ride-hailing services like Uber. Ride-hailing services allow consumers to book on-demand cars and drivers; car-sharing services allow consumers to rent cars they can drive themselves for limited periods.

Hourly car-sharing rates range, on average, from about $5 to $15. These low rates make car sharing an affordable alternative to both traditional rental cars and ride-hailing services. Some car-sharing services use a peer-to-peer (P2P) model, in which consumers who own cars can rent out their vehicles to other consumers. Turo — often referred to as “the Airbnb” of car rentals — is particularly well known for its P2P car-sharing services.

Aside from their affordability, many car-sharing companies come with other appealing benefits. A car rented through Zipcar, for instance, may have a dedicated parking space. That said, car-sharing services have their drawbacks as well. Insurance providers often exclude the use of car-sharing services from their policies, so some drivers may need to pay for additional coverage from the car-sharing company that they patronize.

Major car rental companies, including Enterprise and Hertz, have added car-sharing services to their portfolios. Hertz, for instance, reported in its earnings call for the third quarter of 2023 that its car-sharing volume enjoyed 50% YoY growth. Many competing companies — including Zipcar, Getaround and Gig Car Share — offer car-sharing services exclusively, without long-term rentals.

FAQ

What do you need to rent a car?

Most car rental companies require the following from their customers:

  • A valid driver’s license with a photo
  • A secondary form of identification, like a passport (only required in some circumstances)
  • A credit or debit card for payment

Some companies may not allow drivers with serious driving infractions — like driving under the influence or possession of a stolen vehicle — to rent their cars. Finally, many companies charge additional fees for drivers who are under the age of 25.

Does personal car insurance cover rental cars?

Yes, in most cases, personal car insurance covers rental cars with the same coverage that applies to one’s primary vehicle. Check with your plan to verify.

Is it more common to order a rental car online or in person?

In 2023, 68% of global car rental revenue was generated from online orders. Online rentals are expected to continue displacing in-person rentals and will make up an anticipated 73% of car rental revenue by 2028.


References

  1. Wahba P. “A Fork in the Road for Avis.” Fortune. Evaluated Jan. 16, 2024. Link Here
  2. Statista Market Insights. “Car Rentals.” Statista Market Insights. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  3. Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. “Hertz Exits Chapter 11 As A Much Stronger Company.” Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  4. U.S. Census Bureau. “2023 National Population Projections Tables: Main Series.” U.S. Census Bureau. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  5. U.S. Census Bureau. “U.S. Population Trends Return to Pre-Pandemic Norms as More States Gain Population.” U.S. Census Bureau. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  6. Stam A. “See Enterprise’s New Logo—How It’s Becoming A Mobility Company.” Ad Age. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  7. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “Hertz Annual 10-K Report 2022.” Hertz Investor Relations. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  8. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “Avis Annual 10-K Report 2022.” Avis Budget Group, Inc. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  9. Statista. “Car Rental: Enterprise Rent-A-Car customers in the US” Statista Market Insights Report. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  10. Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. “Q4 and Full Year 2022 Earnings Presentation.” Hertz Investor Relations. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  11. Refinitive. “Q3 2023 Avis Budget Group Inc Earnings Call.” Avis Budget Group, Inc. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  12. Enterprise Holdings, Inc. “Enterprise Holdings accelerates toward next era of mobility with diverse portfolio and growing global footprint.” Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  13. U.S. Department of Energy. “Electric Vehicle Benefits and Considerations.” U.S. Department of Energy. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  14. U.S. Department of Transportation. “How Connected Vehicles Work.” U.S. Department of Transportation. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  15. Enterprise Holdings, Inc. “What do you need to rent a car?” Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  16. Avis Rent A Car System, LLC. “What do I need to rent a car?” Avis Rent A Car System, LLC. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  17. Hertz System, Inc. “What are the general requirements to rent a car with Hertz?” Hertz System, Inc. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  18. Refinitive. “Q3 2023 Hertz Global Holdings Inc Earnings Call.” Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  19. Helling B. “Airbnb For Cars: 8 Best Carsharing Services [& How They Work] In 2023.” Ridester. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  20. New York City Department of Transportation. “Carshare.” New York City Department of Transportation. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  21. MoboKey. “Difference between ride sharing and car sharing.” MoboKey. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  22. Khalid S. “16 Rental Car Companies, Ranked from Worst to Best.” Yahoo Finance. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  23. Auto Rental News. “2022 U.S. Car Rental Revenue of $36.1B Shatters Records.” Auto Rental News. Evaluated Jan. 17, 2024. Link Here
  24. IBISWorld. “Car Rental in the US - Number of Businesses.” IBISWorld. Evaluated Jan. 24, 2024. Link Here

Figures

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