The car rental industry, which for years — and as a reflection of the economy — has experienced a significant decline, has seen a recent spike that could culminate in an increase of up to 5 percent at the end of this year, an industry executive said.
“I definitely see a positive change in the last two years in terms of our revenue. We’re renting more cars at better prices,” said José Martínez, president and co-owner of Charlie Car Rental.
During high season, rentals can reach up to 93 percent of the total fleet, which has varied over the years and as the company has grown with the impact of the local economy.
In 2013, car rentals were down 2 percent. In 2014, a 6 percent growth was experienced, while in 2015 the market remained stable. This year, in November, it had rebounded by 4 percent, he said.
This is the company’s projection for the year. Charlie Car Rental has operations in Isla Verde, Condado, Caguas, Aguadilla and Ponce — which opened recently — as well as a car dealer, CCC Car Sales in San Juan.
“I saw a great opportunity to continue providing the best possible service in Puerto Rico. I received a lot of e-mail and comments asking if we were in Ponce and we responded to that request. It was a matter of demand. We’re definitely are renting more cars,” Martínez said.