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    American Rental and Travel Trends 1/1-3/31

    Below you'll find a short summary of what Auto Europe has seen with domestic and international travel over the past three years and how Covid-19 has influenced travel for Americans.

    Auto Europe is a global leader in providing international car rentals and other services for travelers to countries across the globe. We've been working with our trusted partners for over 60 years and continue to be a vital partner to the most recognizable names in the industry including Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, Europcar, Sixt and more. American travel habits are just one of the many things that have changed over the past three years. We took a look at our internal data to see where Americans who book a rental car with Auto Europe are traveling and how this has changed since 2019. We realize this data may not be a full representation of the state of travel for Americans but with thousands of rentals picked-up and dropped-off each week there are valid conclusions that can be drawn. The three data sets compared looked at Auto Europe car rental booking data for travelers from the United States picking up a rental car between January 1st and March 31st in 2019, 2021, and 2022.

    Summary of Data

    • Domestic bookings made up nearly 50% of all bookings in Winter 2022, previously was 2.5% of all bookings in Winter 2019
    • Average reservation length for international travel up 40% in Winter 2022 vs 2019
    • Dublin and Rome were both the top cities in 2022 and 2019
    • The top 10 cities in regard to rentals booked in 2021 were all in the United States
    • Orlando and Phoenix are the top cities for domestic travelers in 2022

    International Travel Picking-up for US Travelers

    International travel was nearly non-existent for 12-18 months but once vaccinations began rolling out and Covid-19 infection rates dropped in the Spring and Summer of 2021 there was a noticeable uptick in international travel planning. Italy has always been a popular destination for US tourists making up 23% of all bookings in the winter of 2019 but fell to just 3.1% in 2021. When we look at these past three winter months, Italy has accounted for 14% of rentals picked-up by Auto Europe's US customers. Other countries like France, Ireland and the UK have seen similar trends. For example, France accounted for 12.4% of Auto Europe pick-ups in the winter of 2019, 2.8% in 2021, and up to 7.3% in 2022. Other popular tourist countries like Germany and Spain have seen an increase in bookings over the past year but at a slower rate than we've seen in countries like Italy, France and the UK.

    The number of Americans traveling overseas is still much lower than we saw during peak travel seasons in 2018 and 2019 but there are encouraging trends. We will learn more as 2022 continues and more and more people become comfortable again with international travel.

    Domestic Travel Continues to Boom as Travel Restrictions Ease

    With a majority of our US business centered around Americans traveling to Europe, only 2.5% of our car rental reservations were made by US domestic travelers in 2019. Between 1/1/21 and 3/31/21, 73.1% of rental bookings made were for domestic pick-ups in the United States. While overall booking volumes were low in 2021, domestic US bookings grew by 400% from 2019 to 2021. And that wasn't the end of domestic car rental booking growth, from 2021 to 2022 domestic booking totals grew an additional 350% but the overall percentage of bookings made for domestic travel compared to international travel dropped to 48.4% of all reservations. We are not seeing an increase in average rental duration for domestic travelers like we saw with international bookings.

    Booking Trends in 2019
    Car Rental Booking Trends in 2019
    Booking Trends in 2021
    Car Rental Booking Trends in 2021
    Booking Trends in 2022
    Car Rental Booking Trends in 2022

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