May’s Average U.S. Car Rental Rates Lower than May 2011

With the help of Michael Meyer of Rate-Highway Inc. and Jim Tennant of The Tennant Group, Auto Rental News publishes monthly auto rental rate surveys for six major airports in the cities of Boston, Miami, Chicago, Houston, Seattle and Los Angeles. The rates are based on weekly surveys.

Analysis and commentary provided by Jim Tennant of The Tennant Group. This survey is dated May 7. (Click on the charts and graphs for a larger view.)

Rate data provided by Rate-Highway, a provider of revenue management services for the auto rental industry. Rates are an average of aggregator/OTA rates for all vendors present in the markets listed on the date of the survey.
Rate data provided by Rate-Highway, a provider of revenue management services for the auto rental industry. Rates are an average of aggregator/OTA rates for all vendors present in the markets listed on the date of the survey.
These tables and graph show the average of all base rate quotes per day for an ICAR at the six airports shown for arrivals 15 to 21 days ahead of the date of the survey, for two- and seven-day rentals. If the arrival date is a Friday or Saturday, the two-day rate will be a weekend rate, otherwise it will be a regular rate.
These tables and graph show the average of all base rate quotes per day for an ICAR at the six airports shown for arrivals 15 to 21 days ahead of the date of the survey, for two- and seven-day rentals. If the arrival date is a Friday or Saturday, the two-day rate will be a weekend rate, otherwise it will be a regular rate.

The 6 City Average May monthly average rate quotes ended up $2.91 below April. We have year-over-year comparisons for the first time since we started the survey, and May 2012 was $1.88 below May of last year. Rates in the early months of 2012 looked strong, so the year-to-year falloff is somewhat surprising. 

As is often the case, a more complete picture can be seen by digging deeper into the numbers. The 6 City Average was down a disappointing — but relatively small — $1.88. Individual cities, however, were dramatically different. For example, Chicago and Houston were up $15.22 and $18.34, respectively, but the other four cities were all down from $5.12 (Boston) to $16.17 (Seattle).

Miami, at $16.04, had the lowest monthly average rate quote of any of the cities in the last 13 months.

For April’s rate analysis, click here. 

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