Car Rental: 5 Actionable Insights Uncovered From Customer Experience Analysis

July 2018

Category Analysis – Car Rentals

Regions: United States of America

The number of households using car rental companies in the U.S. amounted to 32.0 million in 2018.  The global car rental market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 17.52% during the period 2018-2023. This report offers an in-depth analysis of the car rental industry in US while, at the same time, factoring in the perception drivers, emerging trends, customer beliefs, and more in order to identify the investment opportunities. 

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The analysis is based on customer reviews and conversations online in the segment. The analysis results presented are completely unbiased and not based on any subjective judgement. The source data used for the analysis are user conversations available publicly online like public forums and social media.


Total number of customer conversations analyzed.


Car Rental Industry Overview

  • US Car Rental Market Size by revenue in 2020 was $45.9 billion.
  • Growth of US Car Rental Market is expected to be 2.1% in 2020.
  • Annualized Market Size Growth in US during 2015–2020 is estimated to be 2.3%.

Car Rental Industry Growth Drivers

The growth of car rental business in US is driven by many factors.

The world has witnessed an Increase in the number of smartphone users. There has been an increasing dependency on technology for carrying out our daily activities. Car booking and renting is no exception.  Availability of online car booking and paying rental services have been crucial for the market growth. There has been an tremendous increase in the apps offered by car rental companies making it easy for real-time tracking. 

In addition the increasing number of international travelers worldwide has fueled the growth of car rental service. Higher awareness regarding the car rental services along with the add-ons and availability of affordable services is also adding to the growth of car rental industry.

Reduction in fuel prices worldwide is also yet another growth driver for car rental industry. 

5 Actionable Insights Uncovered From Customer Experience Analysis

A marketing insight basically starts as data, and upon passing through multiple layers of analysis, and after deep thought and reasoning, it emerges finally as an agent of change. Customer data when converted into useful marketing insights goes a long way in predicting your customers’ future choices. It allows you to craft your marketing messages based on the predictions. By collecting and analyzing customer data, marketers get to know where to focus their time and effort to deliver an extraordinary customer experience.

Companies that leverage customer behavior data and create insights outperform peers by 85 percent in sales growth and more than 25 percent in gross margin, according to research by McKinsey.

It’s important to get deeper, industry-based marketing insights on how potential consumers perceive different industries, what do they need from a particular range of products, do they desire a particular benefit from product or service, what do a particular segment of consumer believe in, and so on.

Clootrack analyzed 6,553 online user conversations and picked out 5 important features that customers feel are must haves in a car rental company in USA. Car rentals have become an integral part of holiday travel. Each car rental company offers features that become a characteristic of a specific company. But what are customers asking for in a car rental company?

Below are the top 5 features that customers wish to see in a car rental company:

1. Large Car/SUVs

US customers no doubt are looking for full-size or large cars for their travel. An analysis of the online conversations of customers highlighted that customers are looking for greater space, comfort and flexibility with seating capacity and luggage room.  Whether customers are going on a family trip or enjoying a countryside trip, they surely want to have a large car with good space.

2. Free Navigation

No matter where you are travelling, a navigation device always comes in handy. US customers feel that free navigation services should be one of the features of a car rental services. Customers feel it is very convenient and offers freedom and confidence to explore unfamiliar territories. 

3. Customer Service

Irrespective of many features offered by car rentals, customer service is something that US customers seek most during their travel. Many customers expect excellent customer support starting from booking until customer drop-ff.  Customers expect mobile support, reduced waiting time and information on additional payments and excess amounts.

4. Car Running Condition 

It can be a disaster when you hire a car and it ends up in a bad running condition. Customers have discussed this as one of their top factors while renting a car in US. Customers expect that the car rental companies offer cars that are checked for brakes, fluid levels, tires and all other things that could cause problems.

5. Car Cleanliness

No one likes to spend their travel in a dirty and unclean car. Customers are asking for a clean and tidy car for their travel and this is one of the top 5 factors that they think before renting a car. The car rental companies are expected to clean and service the vehicle before offering it to customers.

Brand Equity – Top Drivers

Brand equity is the value that a customer attaches to a particular brand due to the customer perception and the customer experiences with the brand. A positive experience will generate positive brand equity, while dissatisfying experience will result in negative brand equity. When a brand does not understand its brand equity, it can struggle to setup metrics for improvement. At the same time it is important to know your competitors’ brand equity as it has a direct influence on your company’s brand equity. Brand equity reveals areas where your competitors are doing extremely well or areas where they not providing value to their customers. 

Clootrack analyzed how each of the prominent brands fare each other in top perception drivers. We see that there are clear leaders in several drivers. Download the detailed report for free to get to know the various brands that were analyzed in this report, and how customers rank different brands for the top 5 perception drivers. The detailed report also covers delight features and indifferent features.

  Brand 1 Brand 2 Brand 3 Brand 4
Large Cars /SUVs 142 32 37 39
Customer Service 1 124 113 84
Car Cleanliness -3 29 111 20
Free Navigation 0 0 112 63
Car Running Condition 136 55 45 13

Car Rentals in the US: Top 3 Emerging Trends

There are several emerging trends in the car rental industry in USA. Main factors are the changes in consumer behavior and demand for increased facilities. Car rental companies can capitalize on emerging trends by offering car rental services that customers are asking for:

1. Personalized Rentals

Irrespective of the trip, whether it’s a business trip or a leisure trip, today’s travelers are candid about what they expect. US customers are asking for personalized services and look for a seamless travel experience. Customers prefer to have travel consultants, detailed road maps, booking details, door-to-door itineraries, and all in all a tailored travel experience.

2. Pre-Booked Parking And Privileges

Customers who rent a car do not wish to waste time in finding parking space. Car rental companies need to offer pre-booked parking spots next to the airports and at all other major spots where it can become difficult to find a parking spot.

3. Ultra Short And Ultra Long Hires

The top emerging trend in US is customers are looking for renting cars either for a really short period or an ultra-long duration. Customers are looking to rent cars on their own terms and for as long as they need.

  Brand 1 Brand 2 Brand 3 Brand 4
Large Cars /SUVs 142 32 37 39
Customer Service 1 124 113 84
Car Cleanliness -3 29 111 20
Free Navigation 0 0 112 63
Car Running Condition 136 55 45 13

Detailed Report 

Do you know what customers are talking about a specific car rental brand? Companies perform deep analysis by gathering and analyzing information collected about the consumers, market, business environment, products, and competitors. Actionable insights are derived based on audience analysis and competitive analysis using data from various sources such as interviews, surveys, news, online forums, and social media conversations. Competitive intelligence gives enough information about what consumers are saying about different products on social media. Using this information, your company can design a product that satisfies most of the expectations of consumers. Do you want to understand more about consumer insights and brand equity for your brand? 

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