Car Rental Competitor Analysis

What are your competitors doing?

The global car rental market is hugely competitive and growing, but how do you compare to other car rental companies?

<span class='noMob'>Car Rental </span>Competitor Analysis

If you’re chasing the same customers, what competitive advantage do you have which would make them choose between you and your competitors? What is your competition doing that you’re not, and why are they doing it?

Are their packages priced and presented more effectively than yours, and are there trends or opportunities which they’re taking advantage of?

Without up to date knowledge of what your competitors are doing, you could be running blind and have no idea of what threats you’re facing, nor opportunities you could be taking advantage of.

Competitor analysis could reveal what threats and opportunities you're facing

<span class='noMob'>Car Rental </span>Competitor Analysis

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Car Rental Competitor Analysis

Most people who visit a car rental website have already decided to rent a car, but they might not have decided who to rent from!

So how can you make your company stand out, and what can you do to make potential customers choose you instead of your competitors? What are your competitors doing and offering that you're not?

Prices and products are certainly part of the picture, but are you reaching, attracting and converting potential customers more effectively than your competitors?

Are there external influences which your competitors are dealing with better than you, or opportunities that they're taking advantage of?

Without up to date competitor analysis, it can be difficult to gauge how you’re doing, what attracts customers to you, and what makes them go elsewhere. So how do you know how you compare to your competition without competitor analysis?

Online Reservation Process

Your online reservation process is your customer's self-service way of making a reservation. It's also their way of updating an existing reservation, taking advantage of promotions, enrolling in your loyalty scheme, finding out what requirements and restrictions apply to the country or location they're renting in, and much more.

Compared to your competitors, is the customer journey through your online reservation process easier or more difficult, and if you were to make improvements, how would you decide what to improve?

Let's consider a few points...

  • Is your online reservation process and website clear and uncluttered on all platforms, including mobile? Bear in mind that more than half of website traffic comes from mobile devices.
  • Is the selection of locations, dates, times, vehicles, ancillaries and payment options straightforward and intuitive?
  • Can customers easily find information relevant to their requirements?
  • Do you apply surcharges for young drivers and one-way reservations? How do those amounts compare to your competitors?
  • How does the insurance excess for theft and damage compare to your competitors? Do you offer insurance excess waiver options, and what does that cost compared to your competitors?
  • How can the customer add an additional driver to a reservation? Is there a charge for this? Can they be added online, or at the counter?
  • What about refuelling costs?
  • How do your cancellation and no-show policies compare with those of your competitors, and do you make a charge for early as well as late return of the vehicle?
  • Is the booking summary clear, and the reservation form easy to complete on desktop, tablet and mobile?
  • Are your confirmation emails clear, accurate, and do the links they contain work as expected?

Car Rental Broker Websites

Car rental brokers can be a great revenue channel. For customers it's a convenient way to compare what different car rental companies offer for the same dates, times and locations, but you're limited in how you differentiate yourself from your competition. This can make it difficult to justify differences between brands when price is a key driver on the vehicle results page.

Low headline prices and hidden charges

It has been known for some companies to avoid including certain fees in their headline price to make their rates appear cheaper, and then add those fees later in the reservation process, or make them chargeable at the rental location.

  • How does reserving a car on your website compare to that same car being reserved on a brokers website? Would a customer renting one of your cars through a broker channel get a better deal or experience than when booking directly on your website?
  • How are your vehicles represented on the broker website compared to those of your competitors which are also listed?
  • Are the prices, charges, options and policies clear and correct on the brokers website, and consistent with your company's options, policies and terms? A lack of clarity and consistency can lead to confusion and a poor experience when the customer arrives to pick up or return the vehicle.

Customer Satisfaction

Customers are motivated by many things, and one of those is of course price. But even if your main (or headline) prices look competitive, if surcharges for things such as one way reservations, young drivers and cross border fees seem excessive unreasonable, the feeling of good value can backfire.

No customer wants to feel like they’re being ripped off

No customer wants to feel like they’re being ripped off, and it's so easy these days for brands to suffer due social media and platforms for reviews and complaints. Bad reviews and complaints make it more difficult to attract and retain customers, because potential customers are put off by the unhappy experiences of existing customers.

That said, having someone to frequently monitor and manage those reviews can pay dividends. By responding professionally to complaints and showing a willingness to resolve issues can help to restore trust in your brand, instead of allowing complaints to build up and give the impression that you don't care.

Promoting your business

How do people find you?
• By search?
• Location?
• Advertising?
• Social media presence?
• Recommendation?

How do people find you? Search? Social media? Advertising? Recommendation?

<span class='noMob'>Car Rental </span>Competitor Analysis

Promoting your business

Besides conducting competitor analysis on pricing and other aspects of car rental already mentioned, how effective is your marketing and promotion of your business? Are your competitors reaching out to potential customers more effectively than you? What can you learn from them?

  • Do they run advertisements on social media platforms?
  • Do they use paid search in Google, Bing and other search engines?
  • Is their SEO effective?
  • What keywords are they targeting, and how effective are their efforts compared to yours?
  • Do they make use of Google Business Profile and Bing Places for Business for each of their rental locations, and is the information they’re using more effective than your efforts?

What can I do for you?

Competitor analysis covering pricing, promotions, coverages, social media, SEO and paid search can be laborious, tedious, time consuming and often confusing.

To outsource that work and receive comprehensive feedback and reports can be to your advantage, but for that feedback to be useful and actionable, it needs to be easy to understand, and not full of clutter and overwhelmingly complicated graphs, tables and jargon.

A simple obligation free conversation beforehand over email (, phone (01406 373511) or Zoom will give us both an understanding of what your goals and priorities are. Then, if you feel that I’m the right fit to carry out some competitor analysis for your company, we can take it from there.

You can prioritise what is most important to you from the perspective of the analysis to be done, and the results obtained.


Whilst bringing in a car rental analyst has its advantages, it is completely understandable if you're concerned that confidential information could be shared between companies who use the same analyst.

Trust and discretion are paramount, so let me assure you that:

  • All work is undertaken in the strictest confidence
  • NDAs are welcome
  • No plans, projects, processes or company information is shared or discussed between clients, nor made public in any way.

Reviews and Testimonials

Daron has an incredible attention to detail and consistently delivered projects to the highest standard and on schedule, he undertook a huge amount of testing to ensure even the smallest edge cases are addressed. Daron conducted a numerous competitor analysis and bench-marking to identifying best in class solutions to ensure providing the optimum customer experience for our customers.
(M.H. via LinkedIn)

Read the full review and more of my personal reviews and testimonials and feel free to get in touch if you think I can help.

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