South African Car Rental industry
The South African car rental industry grew revenue by 3.6% in 2017 reaching an estimated total of R5.2bn. The industry continued to be driven by business car rental, which accounted for 53% of the value of all sales. The leisure market remains an important sector and during 2017 there was an increase of 16.7% in car rentals by international visitors and a 1.6% growth in local leisure rentals following on from growth of 22% and 12% respectively in the foreign and local leisure segments in the previous year. Statistics provided by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) show that the car rental industry accounted for an estimated 16.0% of new car sales during 2017.
Increasing Importance of Technology
Although the growth of ridesharing and car-sharing has begun to affect the international car rental market, local car rental companies believe that South Africa has not followed this trend. However, major players in the industry have acknowledged that with technology playing an increased role in travellers’ lives, the car rental industry has had to improve its services and respond to the impact that Uber and other technologies are having on the market and traveller behaviour. Information technology plays a growing role in helping companies to meet customer expectations as well as improving profit margins and making informed decisions. The increasing use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter also continues to play a significant role in the car rental industry.
The South African Car Rental report describes the current situation in the country and emerging trends, provides statistics and discusses factors influencing the sector’s success. The report also profiles 11 car rental companies, including Unitrans Automotive (Pty) Ltd which owns the Hertz Rent A Car business and which is a subsidiary of the Steinhoff Group. Also profiled are new entrants, RentMyRide (Pty) Ltd, which allows users to rent out their personal vehicles using the RentMyRide website, and Locomute which operates a car-sharing network around South African cities.