Vacationers are renting more cars, despite pain at the pump

Courtesy Enterprise
Steve Short

Despite the spike in gas prices leisure travelers are renting more cars. Or, more precisely, they're renting more cars from the largest rental car company in North America, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which targets the leisure travel market more than any other rental car company.

In a recent interview, Steve Short, vice president of leisure business development, gave a quick explanation.

Rentals have increased both in number and dollar volume over last year for the Enterprise brand. The number of rentals just in the leisure segment of the home city market is up more than 500,000. Rentals have increased this year in our home city business— meaning all non-airport locations—due to several factors:

Leisure travelers— the group that represents the core readers of Budget Travel— are renting cars, vans and SUVs for family trips and special occasions.

Enterprise has more than 6,000 neighborhood locations, we are within 15 minutes of 90 percent of the U.S. population. We pioneered the home city segment of the rental car business, along with pickup service.

Customers who want fuel-efficient options find we have the largest fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles. When you think beyond the Enterprise brand and include our other brands, National and Alamo, we offer more than 440,000 cars combined. This fleet averages at least 28 miles per gallon. Currently, there are more than 4,000 hybrids in this fleet and we expect that number to increase significantly this fall.

Have high gas prices changed your use of rental cars at all?

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