Fitch Releases Special Report Detailing Car Rental Industry Woes

A report released this week by ratings agency Fitch says that while the rental car industry has been restored to pre-9/11 levels, the financial deterioration of U.S. vehicle manufacturers and rising interest rates have combined to produce growing rental car fleet expenses and depreciation costs, only a portion of which have been passed on to the vehicle renter.

The report, “The Rental Car Industry: Time to Kick the Tires,” takes a close look at the major rental car companies, whose profit margins have been negatively impacted by these economic developments, namely Hertz Global Holdings and Vanguard Car Rental Group.

Leverage ratios and funding costs are on the rise, but Fitch's outlook on the industry is not totally unfavorable. According to the report, a rental car company can achieve success in the current operating environment if it can diversify vehicle manufacturer relationships, implement competitive pricing strategies, appropriately manage the size and age of its vehicle fleet and achieve some level of funding flexibility.

The report is available on the Fitch Web site at

Comment On This Story

Comment: (Max. 10000 characters)  
Please leave blank:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

Newsletter: Sign up to receive latest news, articles, and much more.

Read the latest

Auto Focus Blog: A blog covering fleets, auto rental and the business of cars

Why Do We Visit Capitol Hill?

Members of the American Car Rental Association met with U.S. senators, representatives, and their aides last week. Here’s why bringing the message to this forum matters.

The Customer Isn’t Always Right

Not caving to a customer with a blatant agenda may have consequences, especially for a small rental company that relies on stellar Yelp ratings to advertise. But business integrity must prevail.

The Truth Behind Compact Van Depreciation

Why are large van values holding up better than their compact counterparts, and will it last?

Job Finder: Access Top Talent. Fill Key Positions.