Top 5 trends for the car rental market

GLOBAL car bookings shot up by 23% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same time last year, reflecting the sector’s continued growth and evolution, according to new data from Amadeus.

A joint report from Amadeus and Microsoft highlights the top five trends that are shaping the car rental market, with Mobility as a Service (MaaS) connectivity topping the list. MaaS allows people to plan, book and pay for their travel in one place, using a mix of public and private transport modes.

The Ahead of the Curve: how technology is driving the future of the rental car industry report also predicts that traditional car rental providers will continue to face strong competition, as new providers develop increasingly flexible, convenient, and sustainable offerings.

The emergence of autonomous vehicles (AV) is also identified in the report as a significant trend going into the future, thanks to the rise of AI and technological advances in fleets.

A shift by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from only automobile manufacturers into mobility solution providers is another burgeoning pattern that we will see in the car rental market, according to the paper.

Rounding out the top five trends, the increased use of data insights and AI will allow car rental providers to optimise their fleets, enable future forecasting, and provide personalised customer experiences.

“The car rental market continues to evolve at a fast pace, and it is both challenging and exciting for the industry, as new players and models enter the space,” Amadeus Vice President, Mobility and Travel Protection, Hospitality, Peter Altmann, said.

“What is clear from our research is that technology plays a central role in helping traditional and new car rental providers create the experience and travel that consumers want.”

Altmann pointed out the “huge opportunity” presented by the Gen Z market, highlighting that 70% of the younger generation doesn’t hold a driver’s license. He also identified sustainability as “another rapidly evolving priority for the industry”.

Julie Shainock, Microsoft’s Global Leader of Travel and Transport, added that the emergence of Generative AI is offering rental providers increased visibility into their entire data ecosystem, in turn “creating accelerated disruption in everything from improved operational efficiency, increased employee insight to make more informed decisions, to hyper personalized and frictionless experiences for consumers”.

Read the full report here.

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