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Opinion
Justin Fox

No, Rental Cars Aren’t About to Disappear

They face challenges but aren’t being wiped out by Uber and Lyft just yet. Here’s the story of a chart that was too stunning to be true.

Still moving.

Still moving.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

You may have seen a version of this chart before. It shows not only taxis but also rental cars plummeting toward seeming irrelevance among North American business travelers in the face of the ride-hailing onslaught led by Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc.:

This may be the last such chart you’ll see for a while, though. Certify Inc., a business travel and entertainment expense management software provider based in Portland, Maine, that has been releasing the data on ride hailing versus taxis versus rentals, has decided to stop. Its latest quarterly SpendSmart report, released last week, shows Lyft gaining ground against Uber and ride hailing gaining ground on taxis, but rental cars are left out. I have the second-quarter numbers for them in the above chart because Certify was nice enough to give them to me, but the company isn’t planning to report them in this way anymore.