Non-Traditional Car Rentals Continue to Dominate Growth

Ariel Ariel
2 minute read 11/3/23

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Let's Check In!. Check out the full article for more insights.

A few summers ago I looked at the car rental market on mobile to see who's the go-to. As a user of most of those apps (before buying a car) I wanted to see how non-traditional rentals are performing, and it turned out Turo, a non-traditional renting app where you can rent other people's luxury cars for relatively cheap, was the winner.

And the numbers were big. So big Turo actually used the data from that article when going public!

It's been two years since that article - are things still the same?

Car rental share of mobile downloads

Yes! Well, almost!

Two years later, Turo is still the most downloaded car rental app in the US, beating both traditional and non-traditional competitors.

Looking at downloads between January and October of 2023, Turo had 46% of the downloads across the top 6 competing renters, which include 4 traditional and 2 other non-traditional renters.

Compared to the last analysis, Turo's share of downloads has dropped a bit - from 47% to 46%, but the downloads haven't. In fact, Turo's monthly downloads rose from an average of 275K in 2021 to more than 500K in 2023.

According to our App Intelligence, Turo welcomed 4.9M new downloads from the App Store and Google Play in the US between January and October of 2023. By far its biggest year of downloads.

But what about the rest? In the last analysis, Enterprise was the second largest competitor to Turo in the US with Hertz and Avis within a clear margin away. That's now changed.

In the US, Enterprise has lost its second place, and instead, it's Hertz that's claiming it.

According to our estimates, Hertz saw 1.9M new downloads from the US App Store + Google Play between January and October of 2023, while Enterprise saw 1.8M. That might feel like a small difference, but it means 18% and 17% share of downloads, respectively, vs. 11% and 18% in the last analysis.

So Hertz figured something out and it's working well!

On the other end, non-traditional renters Zipcar and Getaround, which were already low in the last analysis with 8% and 7% share of downloads, respectively, are now even lower.

Zipcar, the company that created the whole instant car rental category aaaaall the way back in 2000, saw just 4% of downloads while chief rival GetAround saw 3% of the downloads this year.

They still exist, so that's something, but they're just not growing.

Zipcar vs. Getaround mobile app downloads

The thing is, demand for all other competitors has grown in the last few years. All but Zipcar and Getaround. Their downloads have been very stagnant.

Having used Getaround before, I'm not very surprised, but Zipcar's inability to grow does strike me as an unforced error. Being owned by Avis, which isn't doing all that well in the traditional space, is probably related.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

Tagged: #travel

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