By Tony Webster from Mountain View, California - Lyft Car, CC BY 2.0,
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The Alternatives Are Shaking Up the Rental Car Trends


Enterprising ride-sharing apps are claiming another victim: rental car companies.

Take a look at your phone's home screen--we're guessing it has ride-sharing apps on it, Airbnb, and maybe a bike-sharing one too, like Ofo or Limebike. The sharing industry has, on cue, shaken up everything, including how we get around when we travel.

But one section is feeling the wrath of ride-sharing app alternatives more than most: car rentals. Instead of spending time in line waiting for the arduous task of listening to insurance options for a Kia Rio (or Soul, if they upgrade you to boss status), vacationers are opting to quickly hop aboard an Uber or Lyft and zip away to or from the airport.

According to The Washington Post, a recent review of Bank of America's card users revealed that transactions from ride-sharing apps jumped a whopping 109% over a one year-period. The summer of '16 saw the average customer spend around $118 on apps like Lyft and Uber.

By Alexander Torrenegra from Secaucus, NJ (New York Metro), United States - On my first @Uber ride in Bogota heading to a Startup Weekend. Priceless easiness and safety. I love disruptive innovation., CC BY 2.0,

Wikimedia Commons

Compare that to summer 2017, which featured flat car rental transactions and an average ride-hailing cost of $373. These numbers speak to the growing trend of shifting from single-mode transportation when traveling to multimodality. What's more, experts say this is adding to a focus of going green, adding to the sustainability agenda by linking other multimodality options together like public transit.


Another alternative that car rental companies like Avis and Hertz have to be on the watch for is car sharing. It's like Zipcar, but it's your car and you make money off it.

Companies like Turo have turned owners' cars into Airbnb on wheels, offering cars for rent during specific times for up to around 30% off car-rental rates. All this is combining to create a cost-effective culture in the travel industry.

Tourists and visitors are now seeing the benefits that ride-sharing apps, car-sharing, and multimodality have instead of just opting for a traditional car rental service. Not only are you saving money, and possibly time, but you're able to see the city your visiting in a whole new way.

It's not just money car rental companies have to worry about, it's the personal touch.


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