Car rental consumer trends in france 2016

Conducted by the French Car Rental Syndicate CNPA, the study reflects 25,000 interviews run over 2016. Here are a some highlights.

MARKET SHRINKED BY -13% DUE TO LOSS OF DRIVING LICENCE

Overall, the French car rental market gets similar renting specifities over years. Anyhow, an interesting factor can be pointed out: overall potential market has shrinked by -13% due to absence of driving licence or lost (police), in progression of +14%.

FIRST EXPERIENCE IN CAR RENTAL

In general, 50% of interviewed persons have never rented before and for the one that did (70%), it was under constraints (moving, car replacement or professional journey). On the leisure part (22%), main motivation was to get a bigger car with more seats or because of a long road trip.

THE END OF CAR OWNERSHIP?

The persons, who do not have any car at all and therefore need one once a while, are only 7%. If youngesters (aged 18-24) represent around a third of this type of drivers, 20% of the entire population who rented declared that using a car rental is financially cheaper than holding one personally. It is clearly a good alternative to holding his own car especially in a city or a suburb.

MASS MARKET RETAIL BRANDS TENDS TO BECOME MAJOR PLAYER

38% booked via internet but only 10% via the mobile, showing a stable proportion over the last four years. Warning: an important share of rentals were made at the retail counters as most of French retail stores (Carrefour, Leclerc, Systeme U, etc) offer some car and trucks to rent at competitive price. This trend boosted the overall ratio of walk-in transactions (no reservation) from 18 to 30% over three years.
64% of interviewed people declared having booked via the brand site of the rental operator and only 10% via a broker. On the WeYield’s piloting web application Cocktail RM, the proportion is similar (from 10 to 14% depending on the French cities observed).

ADVANCE BOOKING: 2/3 FROM 1 TO 7 DAY BEFORE RENTING

In term of reservation anticipation on French market, 35% of interviewed population booked one day prior starting their rental and 44% from two to seven days before. This trend remains stable since 2012.

ANY NEW MOBILITY BEHAVIOUR?

In a new mobility environment, people who rented were only 15% interested by co-driving (like provided by the French unicorn Bla-Bla-Car). However this ratio increased to 34% over the population aged from 18-24. The other option to get a car hire from a regular brand is also challenged by a recent new habit to rent on a peer-to-peer basis. For the 64% who did it last year, the main reason is the significant cost saving vs the professional ones. And 55% trusted (+3% vs 2015) the car hired to a fellow even though, only 44% are willing to offer their own car for rent.

What about your own country? Do you observe same trends? do you record same figures? Feel free to comment.