If you do not count the increases in gasoline, renting a car will be fairly reasonable cost wise in 2008. The cost increases will be about 4 percent or less, owing mainly to the weakness in Detroit and the deals car manufacturers will be offering the large rental car companies.
Automobile renters with corporate accounts are not expected to see much of an increase as the bargaining power for the companies is still very strong. So if you are a small businessman or family looking to rent a car expect to see a modest increase in the price of a car rental when you travel.
The American Express Global Business Travel Forecast projects an increase in rental car rates next year of 4 percent or less.
Prices for airport car rentals “are a function of the number of people getting off of airplanes,” says consultant Neil Abrams, who advises companies on rental-car contract negotiations. “And as long as airline deplanements continue to rise . . . there will be some ability to raise” rates.
The National Business Travel Association forecasts a larger 2008 increase in rental car costs than does AmEx: 5 percent to 7 percent. But AmEx takes into account off-airport rentals, while NBTA does not.
Abrams and the NBTA expect the average rental rates paid by big corporations that can negotiate high-volume discounts with rental-car companies to rise only a bit, if at all.
To the extent that big corporations succeed in getting volume discounts, small companies and entrepreneurial business travelers will bear the brunt of rental-car companies’ expected revenue increases.
Gasoline prices also are likely to increase total spending on rental cars. via IndyStar.com.