The U.S. car rental industry will achieve an estimated $31.87 billion in total revenues for the 2019 calendar year — a new record, according to data collected annually by Auto Rental News. The total surpasses the previous record of $30.27 billion, set last year.
The $1.6 billion year-on-year increase continues a string of 11 years of uninterrupted revenue growth. The 5.3% growth rate is only surpassed by the steep growth in the early years exiting the Great Recession.
Meanwhile, overall fleet size grew 2.2% from the previous year. This smaller growth rate drove average revenue per unit, per month (RPU) to a new record of $1,174.
New vehicles sold into rental fleets grew to 1.74 million in 2019, a smaller growth rate than in recent years as well.
“The U.S. car rental industry was aided by a strong economy in 2019,” said Chris Brown, executive editor of Auto Rental News. “But it’s important to credit car rental companies for applying new connected car technologies, data analytics, revenue management techniques, and remarketing diversification strategies to increase efficiencies, and thus revenues.”
For the first time, Sixt is listed and places fourth in revenues. (Sixt data had previously been included with the independents).