Seasonality - The Ups and Downs of Car Sharing Demand

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Seasonality - The Ups and Downs of Car Sharing Demand

Car sharing sees similar trends to the rental car market. These trends show a difference in demand for car hire during different times of the year, depending on location and the tourist and leisure activities on offer in that region.

Auckland and Wellington, for example, have an increased demand during summer, with peak demand occurring in February. The demand during summer is two to three times that during the low season (May, June, July).

car rental Auckland seasonality

Seasonality as represented by Google search data for ‘car rental Auckland’

However, there are some ‘winter’ locations which buck this trend. Queenstown has a winter demand which rivals its summer demand, with July and August being the most sought after months.

car rental Queenstown seasonality

Seasonality as represented by Google search data for ‘car rental Queenstown’

How can we take advantage of this seasonality?

Adjust your prices accordingly. Higher prices are normal during summer, particularly January and February. With rental car companies stocked to match the peak demands during summer, their excess stock available in winter drives down the prices of rental cars to $30-$40 per day in some cases. Similarly, you will also need to lower your prices during the winter months to stay competitive with rental car companies.

Having your car listed for the long term is key to gaining traction. Renters are more likely to rent a car that they’ve used in the past and one that has a good owner history. The number of bookings, percentage accepted, how long you’ve been a member and your rating, all paint a picture of how reliable you are likely to be as an owner.

Set expectations

You also need to set your expectations of how many rental requests you are going to receive during your areas’ low demand months.

Car sharing is a relatively new idea and YourDrive is an even newer platform. You are an early adopter of this technology and as a new marketplace, we will be exposed to even greater fluctuations in demand. As we grow and more and more people start to use the service consistently, owners will start to reap the benefits of having been long standing members!

Here at YourDrive, we’re working to disrupt this trend. The old model of rental cars in a car yard is out, and we’re moving towards a sustainable transport system where services are nearby, on demand and web-based, giving us all added flexibility and convenience.

As we move from a service targeting tourists and leisure activities to an every day on demand service for communities, we will see the demand become more consistent throughout the year.

We are working towards our vision. A vision where ownership is irrelevant and where resources are shared in the most efficient way possible. Where anyone can walk up to a car nearby, unlock it and take it for as long as they need it!

Rental Car Demand by Region, New Zealand

Rental Car Demand by Region, New Zealand

Posted by Andrew Norman on 8th of June, 2016