It is summer time again and time for that summer vacation. Within the last decade, the U.S. rental-car companies dropped from six to three and now they control more than 90 percent of the rental-car market. More than 1.9 million rental vehicles are available just in the U.S. The largest rental-car company today is the privately held Enterprise with a 1.3 million vehicle fleet. Publicly traded Park Ridge, New Jersey based Hertz is number two with 700,000 vehicles, 10,000 locations in the U.S. and locations available in 17 other countries thanks to buying Dollar Thrifty late last year. The third place goes to Avis Budget.
After several years of trouble, travel experts expect the $11 billion U.S. leisure travel market to hit a record summer this year. Enterprise dominates the market while Hertz expects to capture about 24 percent share. Rental car agencies are making it easier to rent a car at airports by installing kiosks that are “virtual video kiosks” that can operate 24/7. Rental-car agencies are also trying toi drop the dependency on airline industry for business. Hertz have installed kiosks in Lowe’s home improvement stores to capture non-travel related business.