SOURCE: Auto Rental News

Car Rental Show, car rental, auto rental, automobile, car, top 10 automobile, car survey

January 25, 2011 11:06 ET

Auto Rental Operators Choose Favorite Rental Car of All Time

Auto Rental News Readers Reveal What Really Matters to Car Rental Operators; Toyota Camry Tops the List

TORRANCE, CA--(Marketwire - January 25, 2011) - In a survey conducted by Auto Rental News (, the magazine of the car and truck rental industry, auto rental operators and managers selected the Toyota Camry as their "favorite rental car of all time."

The Camry received an equal amount of praise in all judging criteria, including functionality, reliability, customer experience, maintenance, acquisition costs, resale value and overall return on investment. "It is by far the best rental vehicle I have ever come across, factoring in every aspect of the industry," wrote one respondent, echoing many similar comments. 

The Ford Taurus took both second (pre-2006 discontinuation) and third place (2010-11 model years). Operators cited the traditional Taurus for its low cost to operate, "bulletproof" reliability and flexibility. The new Taurus got high marks for its performance, customer acceptance and overall quality.

Though auto-related surveys are predominantly consumer driven, they have just as much, if not more, relevance within the business community. "Who not better to judge a car's merits than car rental operators?" said Chris Brown, editor of Auto Rental News. "They have experience with hundreds of vehicles and models from varied manufacturers. Those vehicles take a lot of punishment in a short period of time. Most importantly, they rely on their fleet vehicles as their main source of revenue."

In their evaluations, survey respondents cited "reliability" most often, not surprising when rental cars run a thousand miles a week. Cost to repair ranked almost as high.

Contrary to consumer car surveys, a vehicle's styling was not a primary judging criteria. While styling was mentioned, it was often in deference to a simple, ergonomic design -- rental operators appreciate a car "without a lot of bells and whistles for the customer to mess up."

Acquisition cost matters, but resale value was mentioned more often. Roominess, trunk space and functionality are also coveted -- respondents pointed out that a good rental car needs to handle a variety of renter's needs.

Click here for the Top 10 Favorite Rental Cars and an in-depth analysis:

The auto rental industry convenes March 8-9 at the Las Vegas Hilton for the 2011 Car Rental Show (

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