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The Car Rental Industry
South Africa’s car rental industry experienced zero growth in 2018 and marginal nominal growth in 2019. While the weak economy caused rental volumes in the corporate, government, local leisure and insurance replacement subsectors to contract in 2019, declining international and domestic tourism numbers placed even further pressure on the stagnating industry. The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown in South Africa from 26 March 2020 for all non-essential businesses has forced car rental companies to cancel all bookings. The lockdown and travel ban is expected to seriously affect car rental companies, which waived cancellation fees or issued rental vouchers for cancelled bookings, and closed their doors.
Role players indicate that the poor economy and declining tourism numbers are resulting in cut-throat conditions as car-rental companies jostle for market share in a declining market. The industry has continued to benefit from partnerships with airlines, tourism companies and accommodation providers, while investment in technology has helped reduce operational costs and improve customer service delivery and satisfaction. However, the increasingly poor outlook for the economy and declining travel will continue to affect the industry and put pressure on profitability.
This report focuses on the South African car rental industry and includes information on the size and state of the industry including size of fleet and other statistics, and the factors that influence the industry such as coronavirus, which has shut down the industry since March. There are profiles of 9 companies including major players Barloworld (Avis and Budget), Motus (Europcar and Tempest), and CMH (First Car Rental). Profiles of other companies include RentMyRide, which enables people to rent out their own cars and Car Hire Brokers.