-  Photo via Pixabay/Andreas Breitling.

Photo via Pixabay/Andreas Breitling.

To understand the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. car rental industry, Auto Rental News surveyed independent and franchised operators in the U.S. The survey was open for one week and closed on Monday, April 6. There were 95 survey takers. 

The majority (52%) reported a fleet size of over 100 vehicles; 32% reported a fleet size of 500 or more vehicles. 

  • 82% of respondents have reduced staff hours. Of that group, 54% have reduced hours by 51% to 100%; 13% of respondents have reduced hours by 100%, essentially suspending operations.
  • Interestingly, 45% of respondents reported that they have not laid off or furloughed staff members (while 53% have). For those that have, 50% have reduced staff count by 51% to 100%. 
  • In terms of revenue loss, 58% reported a decline of gross revenues of more than 75%, with 17% reporting 100% decline, essentially as a result of suspending operations. 
  • 51% of respondents have “found creditors cooperative and willing to work with you,” while 9% have not and 40% are not yet sure. 
  • Regarding drop in volume, 86% reported a drop of 51% to 100% over normal seasonal patterns; 68% of respondents reported a 75% to 100% drop in business, with 14% reporting a 100% drop in business, essentially as a result of suspending operations.
  • In terms of rental rate erosion, 40% reported rates dropping 51% to 100%; 39% reported rates dropping 1% to 50%. Interestingly, 17% reported that rates have held steady. 
  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic, respondents reported that about 50% of future vehicle orders are cancelled. 

Full survey results will be available soon.

Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Executive Editor

Chris Brown is the executive editor of Business Fleet, Auto Rental News and Fleet Forward. Through these publications and related trade events, Chris covers all aspects of the fleet world, including fleet management, the new mobility ecosystem, manufacturer fleet activities, the fleet leasing industry, vehicle remarketing, and rental industry news.