With the help of Jim Tennant of The Tennant Group and Michael Meyer of Rate-Highway, Inc., we are conducting rate surveys on a weekly basis and providing analysis and comments where appropriate. We publish this monthly recap in our electronic edition and more comprehensive looks in the print editions.
The July 2015 average rate quote was down $18.44 from last year’s abnormally high quotes. Last year, the industry was temporarily short-fleeted due to recalls, so the 2014 rates rose from the third week of June and all of July — falling back somewhat by the last week of July.
As can be seen from the graph of weekly rate quotes (above), 2014 rates fell back to normal levels in the last week of July, but 2015 was lower than both 2013 and 2014.
Rental Brands Comparison
This month, we are looking at the eight major brands’ quotes over the last two years to see what changes in rate strategies are visible. To make the patterns more easily interpreted, we have calculated and displayed each brand’s rate expressed as a percentage of that month’s highest rate.
In the past, we have seen that the three major brands — Avis, Hertz and National — are in a separate tier from the other five. For many years, Hertz traditionally quoted the highest rates, but starting in September 2013, the highest average rate quote went back and forth between the three major brands. Over the 26 months, National had the highest rates 12 times, Hertz nine times and Avis five times.
Looking at the other five brands, two things are evident. Budget and Alamo were traditionally close and well above the other three brands. Today, Alamo is Enterprise Holdings’ low price brand and the Enterprise brand is now close to Budget.
Also, in corporate stores, Dollar and Thrifty used to be priced identically, but they moved apart in late 2013, only to move back closer together (but not identically) in the last couple of months.