The number of retired rental vehicles headed for physical auctions is declining as rental-car companies pursue other options to move out their aging vehicles.
Both Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and Avis Budget Group Inc. said in their second-quarter earnings calls that they're using sophisticated software tools to improve utilization rates and thereby operate with smaller fleets. They also are putting some vehicles into mobility service and are selling a larger portion of their retired units through nonauction channels.
Take Avis Budget's sales of retired units: In the second quarter, 52 percent of those sales were through what it calls alternative channels vs. 48 percent through auctions. That's an exact reversal of the percentages a year earlier.