Over the past decade or so, we’ve seen the ground transportation industry progress rather significantly. New methods of transportation, most notably ridesharing, are beginning to shape the way people (urban commuters, mostly) get around in more convenient and affordable ways. As such, the impact of ridesharing on traditional car rental is an area of interest for industry experts, yet one that hasn’t been determined as either positive or negative.
In order to understand this impact, it’s important to first distinguish between the two methods of transportation, as each satisfy a different segment of the market. Ridesharing attracts one-way customers who would alternatively hire a taxi or use a mode of public transportation. In other words, it is one-way travel that prioritizes convenience and affordability for the consumer.
Car rental on the other hand offers travellers a longer-term solution to getting around while providing the customer with unlimited access to a vehicle for the duration of a rental period. According to Auto Rental News data, the average length of car rental for business travel is about three days, while leisure rentals run slightly longer (seven days). The average length of a replacement rental, however, is substantially longer — at about 10 days.
From this data, we can determine that there is still a high demand for rental vehicles by a wide-range of users and that car rental satisfies a different need than ridesharing.