The U.S. car rental market is expected to achieve $28.63 billion in total revenues in 2017, according to data published annually by Auto Rental News. While a new record, the revenue total represents the lowest percentage year-over-year growth since revenues dipped to begin the Recession.
However, this revenue was achieved on a smaller overall U.S. fleet size of 2.187 million vehicles, some 126,000 fewer units than the industry fleeted in 2016.
That translates to industry-wide average revenue per unit, per month (RPU) of $1,091, representing the first year-over-year RPU growth in four years — and is also the highest RPU recorded since Auto Rental News began collecting this data in 1992.
“The U.S. car rental industry has adapted a newfound austerity when it comes to fleeting,” said Chris Brown, executive editor of Auto Rental News. “One tangible benefit of a smaller overall fleet is a healthy rate environment, which came to pass in the second half of 2017 and should carry into next year.”