July 2017 continued the strong turnaround in rates like in June, up $6.48 from a year ago. The deseasonalized monthly average is up for the sixth month in a row from a low of $40.77 in January to $53.57 in July.
Even after adjusting for normal seasonal variations, there is still quite a bit of “noise” or variation from other factors in the rate quote history, but a consistent increase totaling $12.80 over six months is not noise.
Rate quote variations are mostly driven by the difference between travel demands and supply (fleet sizes). We are not aware of any unexpected uptick in demand, and thus we believe that these results show that the industry has its fleet well aligned with demand. If that is the case, the late summer and fall outlook is very good.
The Northeast and Northwest regions had the highest rates, with increases of $15.17 and $14.13, respectively.
The National Car Rental brand’s rate management strategy seems to be unchanged in July; it continues to have the lowest average quote of the three top tier brands (Avis, Hertz, and National).
Jim Tennant of The Tennant Group and Michael Meyer of Rate-Highway Inc. have been conducting rate surveys on a weekly basis and providing analysis and comments where appropriate. They publish this monthly recap in our electronic edition and more comprehensive looks in the print editions.