Summary of our market study

The short-term car rental (LCD) market has experienced significant disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with leading companies such as Europcar and Hertz declaring bankruptcy in the USA in 2020. Despite these difficulties, the global market, valued at $110 billion in 2022, is expected to reach $244.5 billion by 2032, with a CAGR of 8.3%. The French LCD market, after a sharp drop in activity in 2020, saw a resurgence in 2021 with market sales exceeding 2019 levels, reaching 5.43 billion euros.

Factors contributing to growth include the increase in tourism, with almost pre-pandemic levels of 201.3 million arrivals in France by 2022, the popularity of car-sharing and a pushe for greener fleets in response to the Mobility Orientation Bill, although electric vehicles only account for around 5% of registrations in the first five months of 2021. Despite the impact of the pandemic, the sector appears to be on the road to recovery, with advances in digital platforms and the expansion of new mobility models reshaping the market.

Dynamics and disruptions in the French short-term car rental market

The French short-term car rental (LCD) market, which encompasses vehicle rentals for periods ranging from a few hours to several weeks, has seen a notable increase in activity in recent years. Important factors such as strong growth in the tourism sector, the popularity of short-term rentals as an alternative to vehicle ownership, and changing consumer preferences in terms of mobility have all contributed to this upward market trend. A notable increase was seen in short-term rentals, with nearly eight million transactions reported before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the pandemic dealt a severe blow to the sector, with travel restrictions having a major impact on the rental industry - a setback visible in the financial difficulties and bankruptcy filings of leading companies such as Europcar and Hertz.

Despite these difficulties, a wind of optimism is blowing through the recovery, thanks to renewed tourist activity and the easing of health restrictions, pointing to a rebound in market activity. In France, sales trends in the LCD market were showing steady growth until the pandemic struck, causing a sharp drop. Demand for short-term car rental is diversified, attracting customers from different demographics, with the largest user base in the 35-44 age bracket. However, young people, such as those aged 18 to 24, are less represented, largely due to the higher rental rates charged to this age group.

The tourism industry has a considerable influence on the cyclicality of the car rental market, with a sharp increase in rentals during the summer season. Car-sharing, which includes several segments such as peer-to-peer platforms and city-financed car-sharing, has grown in popularity, with unique users reaching the 460,000 mark by early 2023. This booming segment reflects changing preferences towards sustainable and convenient mobility options, particularly in urban areas.

Market concentration in the European car rental segment is considerable, with key players dominating a substantial share. In particular, European giants such as Europcar, Sixt, Avis Budget, Hertz and Enterprise Holdings hold significant market shares.

Despite growth, profitability has been a concern for these players, with financial performance showing a downward trend prior to the pandemic.

The competitive landscape: Main competitors in the short-term car rental market

The short-term car rental landscape is marked by a large number of key players, each carving out their own territory and fighting for dominance with a variety of strategies.

  • Stellantis: The result of the merger between Groupe PSA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Stellantis is a formidable force in the automotive world, with a significant presence in the car rental sector thanks to its fleet of vehicles catering to both private and business customers.
  • Avis Budget Group: Renowned in the car rental industry, Avis Budget Group has consolidated its global position with a wide range of services designed to meet the needs of travelers seeking convenience and reliability on the road.
  • Hertz: With a century of history behind it, Hertz is synonymous with car rental, offering a vast network of options for customers in various segments, including luxury and commercial vehicle rentals.
  • Europcar Mobility Group: As a European car rental giant, Europcar Mobility Group has proven resilient in the face of industry challenges, offering a rich selection of vehicles ranging from compact to high-end, catering to a wide range of consumer preferences.
  • Sixt: This German multinational is known for its high-end rental services, catering to those seeking a luxurious experience with a diverse fleet including premium sedans and sports cars.
  • Ucar: A niche player in the industry, Ucar has carved out a place for itself in the market by offering competitive services, primarily focused on accessibility and practicality.
  • Ouicar: A pioneer of the CtoC (customer-to-customer) model, Ouicar brings together individuals wishing to rent their vehicle and people in need of a car, promoting an innovative approach to mobility.
  • Enterprise Holdings: With a massive fleet and an extensive portfolio including Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Holdings caters to a wide range of consumers, from leisure travelers to businesses.
  • Free2move: A member of the Stellantis group, Free2move presents a modern vision of car-sharing, with a versatile offering that aims to make urban mobility more accessible and sustainable.
  • Ubeeqo: Acquired by Europcar, Ubeeqo is steadily gaining ground in carsharing, targeting city dwellers with its attractive service model and effective use of technology.
  • Citizen : Citiz offers car-sharing solutions in many French cities and encourages an ethical, shared approach to transportation, demonstrating a commitment to sustainable development and community-oriented services.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Short-term car rental (LCD), or vehicle rental, is a service offered by a company providing customers with vehicle rentals for short periods ranging from a few hours to a few weeks. Rental companies are often made up of a number of local branches, enabling customers to return their vehicle at a different location from the one at which it was picked up.

Most rental agencies are located in airport terminals, in the immediate vicinity of railway stations and in city centers, and reservations can be made online via a website. The car rental market covers all transactions between companies and individuals enabling the borrowing of a vehicle over a given period. A distinction is usually made between short-term rentals and long-term rentals, or leasing, where the rental company is the lessor.

In 2019, there were almost 8 million short-term vehicle rentals. The combination of several phenomena - sustained growth in the tourism business, the emergence of short-term rental as an alternative to vehicle ownership, but also the growing popularity of leasing - has led to an increase in the number of short-term rentals.the combination of sustained growth in the tourist industry, the emergence of short-term rental as an alternative to vehicle ownership, and changes in motorist behavior, with drivers more inclined to adopt new forms of mobility, are all contributing to the structural growth of the LCD market in France.

The COVID-19 crisis turned the market upside down. The various measures to restrict and limit travel had a direct impact on the short-term vehicle rental sector. As a result, the sector's leading companies, Europcar and Hertz, have been filing for bankruptcy in the USA since 2020, due to their financial difficulties. However, the upturn in tourism and the lifting of health restrictions in Europe, and particularly in France, point to a strong recovery in activity in 2021, with sharp price rises in the most popular regions.

1.2 A fast-growing global market

The global short-term car rental market was booming before the **** pandemic. Indeed, changing motoring habits, particularly in developed countries, and the multiplication of short-term rental solutions have, among other things, driven up demand in the global market.

The global car rental market was estimated at *** billion USD in ****, according to a ...

1.3 The French market

INSEE compiles sales figures for companies operating under NAF code ****A: "Short-term rental of cars and light motor vehicles". The short-term car rental market has been booming in recent years, as can be seen from the graph below. In fact, there has been a real surge in activity, which can be ...

1.4 The effects of the pandemic

As published in the French newspaper Les Echos, the negative impact of the health crisis continues to weigh on the French economy, and therefore on the short-term car rental market. The gloomy context is penalizing the activity of car rental companies, which have suffered from the stoppage of air traffic, the ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Target customer analysis

The target clientele for short-term car rental is heterogeneous. And in terms of demographics, considering the example of Europcar, considered to be the leader in the sector, we can see that the age group most likely to use short-term car rental is between ** and **.

Demographic breakdown of Europcar customers World, ****, in ...

2.2 Cyclical demand and changing booking times due to the importance of tourism

A quick analysis of the keyword "car rental" typed into Google helps to illustrate this fact (***): the search peak was reached in the week from July ** to August *, **** in France, twice as many as in December of that same year, i.e. the period of the major summer vacations when tourist ...

2.3 The popularity of carsharing

Carsharing is a catch-all term for several major segments:

CtoC platforms, such as the Drivy application, which bring together private individuals willing to rent out their personal cars to others; City-financed car-sharing, which is limited to a certain geographical perimeter, and is available to users on a subscription basis or as ...

2.4 Business car rental, a key demand driver

Car rentals for business travel are an important demand driver. Indeed, companies often resort to short-term private car rentals to meet their business travel requirements. The business travel market is highly dynamic, and is expected to recover rapidly from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

Business travel market trends France, ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Market concentration and competition

on a European scale, the market is highly concentrated. Europcar, a long-standing market player, is the market leader, controlling almost **% of market share across Europe. The company is followed by traditional players Sixt (***).

Breakdown of market share in the LCD market Europe, ****, in Source: ****

The pandemic has added to the financial ...

3.2 Two types of branch network

According to an ANFA report, short-term rental companies organize their branch networks in several ways:

Branches: these are in the name of the parent company, and are generally located in railway stations and airports. Half of Avis branches worldwide are located in airports; Franchises, which are independent brands benefiting from the ...

3.3 Digitization of the sector

Carsarerented via several channels: Internet, physical agency, telephone and mobile application.

Internet

Customers are increasingly likely to book a rental car via the Internet. This accounted for **% of bookings in **** according to a GMV Conseil study, compared with **% directly in the agency. These figures were **% and **% respectively in the previous study ...

3.4 Car LCD value chain

As explained above, the players in the LCD car rental sector are diversifying. The following diagram describes the different types of rental agencies and their relationships with other players:

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Car ranges at the heart of differentiation strategy

Passenger cars and light commercial vehicles

Car rental is governed by APE/NAF code **.**A. It includes "cars and other light motor vehicles". Different classes of car can be distinguished, and some companies, such as ADA, specialize in light commercial vehicles (***).

Rental vehicle classes

ACRISS(***) is a vehicle classification system used ...

4.2 Short-term car rentals: average prices

Considering the restricted scope of the major traditional market players (***). Volume has grown steadily over the period in question, with a CAGR of *.*% between **** and ****.

However, the average reservation duration does not really seem to be increasing, as shown in the following graph:

Trend in average vehicle reservation time France, **** - ...

4.3 Carsharing and the arrival of new players at the heart of a renewed offer

The Citiz car-sharing network, present in over *** towns and cities in France with more than *,*** shared vehicles, offers several subscription formulas.the price varies according to the number of hours of use in the month, the time and distance covered, and the category of vehicle (***). [***]

In the Paris region, where shared ...

4.4 The digitization and electrification revolution

The sector's historical players (***) have been extremely weakened by the health crisis, which could be a sign that their business model is coming to an end. Indeed, the trend is towards simplifying the customer experience and seeking greener mobility. New entrants have already entered this niche, such as Carlili, which has ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Supervision of rentals between professionals and private individuals

The website jesuisentrepreneur.fr lists the regulations in force for car rental companies, as well as for individuals and companies using their services.

All car rental companies must be registered with the Registre du Commerce et des Sociétés.

Renters must be at least ** years old and have at least ...

5.2 Rental between individuals

Vehicle leasing between two private individuals is not governed by the same legislation, since the French Consumer Code only applies to contracts between companies and private individuals.

For CtoC car-sharing, the general law of obligations under the Civil Code applies. A legal framework has also recently been put in place to ...

5.3 Impact of the Mobility Orientation Bill

The draft law on the orientation of mobility encourages industry players to make their fleets greener, with multi-year targets; this affects corporate fleets, as well as leasing and LCD fleets with more than *** vehicles.

The minimum percentage of low-emission vehicles must be as follows:

january *, ****: **% january *, ****: **% january *, ****: **% (***) january *, ****: **% (***)

Source: ****

The gradual ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Europcar
  • Hertz
  • Avis Budget Group
  • Sixt
  • Ouicar
  • Citiz
  • Ubeeqo
  • Enterprise holdings
  • Ucar
  • DriiveMe
  • Drivalia
  • Virtuo
  • Getaround (Ex drivy)
  • Rent a Car
  • Hitech Software

List of charts presented in this market study

  • The global car rental market
  • Evolution of the short-term car rental sales index
  • Short-term car and light vehicle rental sales
  • Demographic breakdown of Europcar customers
  • Evolution of interest in the "car rental" search on Google
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Latest news

Hertz changes boss after disastrous bet on electric cars - 17/03/2024
  • - Electric vehicle order: 100,000 electric cars to Tesla for $4.2 billion.
  • - Hertz announces plans to sell 20,000 electric cars, representing a third of its "clean" fleet.
  • - Repair costs for electric vehicles are on average twice as high as for conventionally powered vehicles.
  • - Its German counterpart, Sixt, has also expressed its intention to reduce the number of Teslas in its fleet.
Mobility: Europcar and Volkswagen step up joint projects - 15/09/2023
  • Europcar is to acquire 51% of Euromobil, Volkswagen's car rental business in Germany.
  • Euromobil employs 400 people and provides car rental services at the group's 2,000 dealerships in Germany.
  • Europcar and Volkswagen plan to exchange know-how and provide mutual assistance in fleet management.
  • Europcar is working with Volkswagen on a project for an all-in-one mobile application combining various mobility services.
A former Citroën and Volkswagen executive at the wheel of Europcar - 17/07/2023
  • Since 2022, Europcar has been owned by a trio consisting of the Volkswagen group (majority shareholder with two-thirds), the Attestor fund and the Dutch Pon group.
  • Europcar has had to face up to a 2 billion debt burden in recent years.
  • The company was saved from insolvency during the health crisis of 2020 thanks to loans guaranteed by the French and Spanish governments.
Car-sharing, car-pooling, leasing: Volkswagen's big plan for Europcar - 06/06/2022
  • Europcar to become the cornerstone of Volkswagen's new mobility strategy
  • The firm confirms its ambition to put autonomous cars on the road as early as 2025, in Europe and then the USA
  • Europcar and its fleet of 250,000 vehicles, while remaining an independent brand, are at the heart of the strategic plan.
  • Volkswagen plans to invest some 36.5 billion to develop its in-house software services and become a global mobility provider.
  • The carmaker and its two partners have closed the takeover bid for the rental company
Three years after acquiring Drivy, Getaround is preparing for its IPO. - 11/05/2022
  • Getaround, the world's leading car-sharing company, is about to take a major step forward in its history by completing its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange via a SPAC.
  • In 2019, Getaround acquired Drivy , the French specialist in the sector, for $300 million.
  • Following layoffs in the United States, the company had to raise $140 million to give itself some breathing space.
  • The IPO enabled the car-sharing specialist to raise fresh money and set in motion a new dynamic.
  • The company claims to have achieved sales of 167 million by 2021, has a fleet of 66,000 vehicles registered on its platform and asserts that it is profitable "in certain cities", without specifying which ones.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Europcar
Hertz
Avis Budget Group
Sixt
Ouicar
Citiz
Ubeeqo
Enterprise holdings
Ucar
DriiveMe
Drivalia
Virtuo

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