Key car rental survery figures from CarTrawler

CarTrawler, the car rental distribution company, has issued its first Biannual Growth Trends Index which looks at key car rental statistics and performance indicators across the globe.In particular, in the first six months of this year, CarTrawler has noted increased growth in car rental destinations outside the traditional UK markets (e.g. Spain and Portugal) particularly sharp increases in the US, non-Euro zone destinations (e.g. Romania and Bulgaria) and key long haul destinations.  The shift in booking channels also shows a steep increase in city break car rental bookings - more and more people are renting cars to match long weekends away.

“Key to our biggest growth destinations is the ability people now have to book their car rental at the point of their air booking,” comments Greg Turley.  “The growth in major international business and airport destinations is no surprise for us; we predict this area will continue to see significant year on year growth as more and more airlines capitalise on car rental ancillary revenue. 

“It is interesting to note that, despite the credit crunch and predictions of a downturn in travel, consumers are still taking city breaks.  However, the trends we continue to see throughout our data are that travellers are moving towards those short haul destinations where the pound is going to go further,” comments Greg Turley.

“We are also seeing a growth in car rental on city breaks, instead of relying on local transport.  With the availability and ease of car booking on the internet and the ability to compare prices and get great value, more and more people are opting for the convenience of having their ‘own’ car no matter how short the break.  They value their independence of travel and they like having their own personal space which a rented vehicle gives them.”

TOP FIVE GROWTH DESTINATIONS:

(Jan/May ‘07-Jan/May ‘08) 1. Orlando 63% , 2. Cape Town 61%, 3. Los Angeles 59%, 4. Warsaw 57%, 5. Geneva 54%

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“Key to our biggest growth destinations is the ability people now have to book their car rental at the point of their air booking,” comments Greg Turley. “The growth in major international business and airport destinations is no surprise for us; we predict this area will continue to see significant year on year growth as more and more airlines capitalise on car rental ancillary revenue.

TOP FIVE “ONES TO WATCH”:

The following five destinations are ones which have showed increased booking spikes over the past few months for a number of reasons - ranging from people looking for holiday “bargains” due to the credit crunch, to the strength of the dollar making the US an attractive destination.

1. Las Vegas, 2. Barbados, 3.Newquay, 4. Marrakech, 5. Larnaca

TOP FIVE CITY BREAK GROWTH DESTINATIONS:

1. London City Airport 70%, 2. Sofia 64%, 3. Bratislava, 4 Warsaw 57%, 5. Jersey 57%

“It is interesting to note that, despite the credit crunch and predictions of a downturn in travel, consumers are still taking city breaks. However, the trends we continue to see throughout our data are that travellers are moving towards those short haul destinations where the pound is going to go further,” comments Greg Turley.

“We are also seeing a growth in car rental on city breaks, instead of relying on local transport. With the availability and ease of car booking on the internet and the ability to compare prices and get great value, more and more people are opting for the convenience of having their ‘own’ car no matter how short the break. They value their independence of travel and they like having their own personal space which a rented vehicle gives them.”

TOP FIVE LONG HAUL GROWTH DESTINATIONS:

“As with all growth markets, long haul destinations are focused on where the Pound, Dollar and Euro will go the furthest. However, there is more of an aspirational element in the fly-drive holiday.  Perhaps most surprising is the huge growth in car rental in Barbados (Dollar-based destination).  This is in part due to the strong marketing and brand Barbados has on this market, but also this is an ideal island to explore by car,” says Greg Turley.

Top Five Long Haul Growth Destinations:

1. Orlando 63%, 2. Cape Town 61%, 3. Los Angeles 59%, 4. Barbados, 5. Auckland 57%

KEY CAR RENTAL BOOKING FACTS AND FIGURES:

Booking lead time (how long before the travel date is the car booked) has fallen from an average of 40 days in 2007 to 30 days in 2008

Most popular type of car booked short haul is a Compact (e.g. a Ford Fiesta)

Most popular type of car booked long haul varies.  In the US it is a Full Size (e.g. Chevrolet Impala) whereas in other long haul destinations (Africa/Australasia) it is a Standard car (e.g VW Passat).
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