A new study from Austin, Texas-based rental car agency, CarRental, finds that car rental rates have dropped significantly over the past few years.
The average rental car cost in Austin now sits at around $17,000.
This was the case even before the city launched its public transportation network in January 2016.
But the decline has come in tandem with the introduction of an automated car rental app, which has also seen a decline.
According to a report by Austin-based transportation advocacy group Transportation for Austin, the car rentals industry in Austin has been hit hard by the introduction and expansion of Uber.
Austin is home to the largest population of Uber drivers in the country, which makes the new car rental data interesting.
CarRenters.com reported that the average car rental price in Austin dropped by 11.7% between January 2016 and July 2017.
Car rental companies like CarRenting.com, AutoNation and GoLocalRentals reported that a significant number of car rental customers are opting to use Uber, or Lyft, to book a car.
For a typical day of driving, an Uber driver can book an average of 10 trips per day, according to the research.
For an UberX driver, the average UberX trips per week can range from three to seven trips per month.
And, GoLocal rentals have reported that in the past six months, their average car rent has dropped by 18%.
This trend has impacted car rental companies that are looking to compete with Uber and Lyft.
“We have seen a significant increase in demand for ride-sharing services in Austin and our market is seeing an even greater increase in rental car demand as the public transportation system is expanded,” said Matt Brown, senior vice president and general manager of CarRents.com.
Brown added that Austin has also experienced a drop in rental vehicle ownership, with an average owner of a rental car now owning fewer than 5% of their vehicle.
Brown told the Austin American-Statesman that Austin’s rental car market is “on the upswing,” and has seen “a significant increase” in car rental car usage.
The Austin city government is now working on legislation that would regulate the use of ride-share services like Uber and other ride-hailing companies.
In February, the city council approved a plan that would require that Uber and similar services such as Lyft and Grab must obtain city permits to operate in the city.