Consumer search trends show accelerated car rental recovery

Jun 2, 2020

2nd June 2020: Over the last number of months, we have been closely monitoring consumer behaviour and trends in search data across 10 core markets. As travel bans begin to ease, we can already see early signs of recovery. Consumer search trends indicate car rental is recovering at a faster rate than flights, this could be due to the perceived safety of travelling as a unit in a car. 

The strengthening volume of car rental searches appears to be consistent across all major markets, except for Italy where car rental recovery appears to be in line with flights. In particular, we can see car rental search terms are recovering rapidly in the US – there was an increase of 10ppts in the week-on-week trajectory of car searches last week, with YoY trends now at -28% (at the nadir, the YoY trend was at -67% in the US). Other notable movements include Portugal, where YoY trends improved +14ppts and Switzerland where car rental search terms continue to improve contrary to flight trends.

When we analyse flight data as a standalone piece the news remains positive, all 10 markets being tracked in the report have observed significant improvements from their lowest week. There has been further week-on-week momentum across most markets, most significantly in the US, Germany and Italy. There were 3 exceptions however, as Spain’s, Sweden’s & Switzerland’s trajectory slowed.