Auto Rental News has completed its second survey of independent and franchised operators in the U.S. to understand the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. car rental industry.
The survey was sent out by email to a sample of Auto Rental News’ qualified circulation list of car rental operators. It was sent on May 6 and results were tabulated on May 19. The first survey was completed on April 6.
The results of this survey are based on 106 responses and exclude corporate operators (Enterprise Holdings, Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Sixt, Europcar). Of respondents’ operations, the mean number of full-time employees is 31 and the part-time mean number of employees is six.
Highlights of the data include:
- While 81% of respondents said they’ve reduced staff hours because of the pandemic, 65% of those respondents said they’ve reduced staff by 51% to 100%.
- 59% said they’ve furloughed staff. Of that group, 58% have furloughed staff by 51% to 100% and 8% furloughed staff by 100%.
- Regarding revenue, 55% said revenue has decreased 75% to 100% since late February, with 7% reporting a 100% revenue decrease, indicating suspension of operations. 73%
- In terms of volume, 56% of respondents reported a drop of volume of 75% to 100% over normal seasonal patterns, with 8% reporting a 100% volume decrease, indicating suspension of operations.
- Regarding rates, 27% reported rates have dropped 51% to 100% during the pandemic, and 28% reported a drop of 25% to 49%. Interestingly, 44% of respondents reported a drop of only 1% to 24%, with 20% reporting no rate decline.
- Only 3% reported that they had been forced to close their businesses due to stay-at-home orders.
These findings correlate roughly with the percentages in the first survey, with the notable exception that volume appears to be improving: In the first survey, 68% reported a drop of volume of 75% to 100% with 14% reporting a 100% drop.
The survey also contains responses on fleet size and disposal, types of customers served, and steps taken to protect employees and customers.