The Tennant Group:

consultant and expert witness to the vehicle rental and related industries.

The Tennant Group provides consulting and expert witness services to the vehicle rental and related industries.

Our extensive operational and consulting experience enables us to offer a broad range of services to our clients, without sacrificing the personal, one to one relationship that is so important in our work.

Because of our experience and visibility in the industry, we have been qualified as an expert in vehicle rental related matters.  We have acted as a Litigation Consultant and Expert Witness in legal actions regarding franchisee / franchisor disputes, personal injury and wrongful death actions and rental vehicle values.

Free Downloads:  We have free downloads of articles on the vehicle rental industry that we have written for Auto Rental News and of slides from presentations at past Car Rental Shows. (“How To acquire an Auto Rental Company” was named one of the Top Ten Auto Rental Headlines of 2011.) Bilingual Presentation to Latin American operators at 2014 Car Rental Show is now available.

Our extensive operational and consulting experience enables us to offer a broad range of services to our clients, without sacrificing the personal, one to one relationship that is so important in our work


Jim Tennant, the Principal of The Tennant Group, has an extensive background in the vehicle rental industry, from hands on management of small and large stores to running a national franchisor.
To view or print his Curriculum Vitae in PDF format, click here.

The Ancillary Business Opportunities seminar at the 2017 International Car Rental Show discussed retail business opportunities such as car wash, car sales, quick lube, and parking. Jim Tennant (at podium) of the Tennant Group moderated the seminar while Frank Lash of Alliant Car Wash Services (left) and Brad Meyer (center) of JM&E-TCS Inc. were on the panel. Photo by Amy Winter-Hercher.”


Jim Tennant spoke to a packed room yet kept the session interactive.

Car Rental Show
 April, 2013, Las Vegas
(Photos and captions courtesy of Auto Rental News)


Call 707-287-1311 or email There is no cost or obligation.


The Tennant Group
P. O. Box 3231,  Napa CA 94558



Please note that some of the older downloads have out-of-date contact information for The Tennant Group.
Current contact information is:
Telephone: 707-287-1311
Mailing Address: The Tennant Group, P O Box 3231, Napa, California 94558

The Tennant Group
P. O. Box 3231,  Napa CA 94558 


News, Views and Opinions about the Vehicle Rental Industry

To comment on a post, just click on the title.

Car Rental Rates and Easter

Easter occurred two weeks earlier in 2015 than in 2014. Spring break is tied into Easter, although not as much as in the past. At one time, almost all school administrations scheduled their break the week before or the week after Easter. Many still do so, but there are some that have breaks at fixed times of the year, rather than scheduling around Easter, which can occur on any date from March 23 to April 25. In any case, even though less so than in the past, Easter still has a big impact on rental rates.

Our rate quote surveys are for rentals 15 to 21 days out, and the average rental length is three to four days, so the biggest impact on rates of an event such as Easter is three weeks out. Rates did spike and then fall off immediately three weeks out both years, but 2015 was weaker than 2014, as can be seen from the following:

Number of Weeks Before Easter
Yr to Yr($2.08)($3.38)($1.07)$4.12$0.39($6.35)

Canadian Competition Bureau Takes Action Against Avis Budget

This is a post from the Canadian Competition Bureau’s web site:

The Competition Bureau has taken action against what it considers to be deceptive marketing practices by two of Canada’s largest rental car companies, Aviscar and Budgetcar, and their parent company, Avis Budget Group Inc.

The Bureau has filed an application with the Competition Tribunal seeking an end to alleged false or misleading price representations by Avis and Budget, a total of $30 million in administrative monetary penalties from the three companies, and refunds for consumers.

The Bureau’s investigation found that Avis and Budget advertise prices for vehicle rentals and other associated products that are not attainable due to additional fees imposed during the rental process. Furthermore, these fees are characterized as taxes, surcharges and fees that governments and agencies require Avis and Budget to collect from consumers. In fact, Avis and Budget impose these charges to recoup part of their own cost of doing business. As a result, consumers end up paying higher prices or receiving lower discounts than advertised.

Today’s action also marks the Bureau’s first proceedings under the new provisions of the Competition Act that came into force as part of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) in July 2014, because Avis and Budget also use electronic messages to disseminate the alleged false or misleading representations.

Quick Facts

  • The additional fees imposed by Avis and Budget can increase the cost of a rental by up to approximately 35 per cent, depending on the rental location and type of vehicle.
  • Avis and Budget have collected more than $35 million in fees and surcharges from consumers since March 12, 2009.


“Consumers are entitled to clear and precise information when making their purchasing decisions and need to be confident that the information they receive regarding additional fees is truthful and accurate.”

John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition

Charleston Place Hotel Confirmed for May 3 – 5 Roundtable

We have just confirmed space at the Charleston Place Hotel in Charleston, SC. This gorgeous hotel in Old Charleston, perennially ranked as one of the top hotels in North America by Condé Nast Traveler, is an extraordinary hotel where history and elegance come together.

Our meeting begins with a welcoming reception at 6 PM Sunday, May 3, followed by a short meeting. After a continental breakfast, we meet all day Monday, May 4 and have a group dinner Monday evening. On Tuesday we have breakfast again and a meeting lasting until noon. Spouses and other guests are welcome at the reception and group dinner.

Membership in the Roundtable is limited to owners and general managers of independent or franchised vehicle rental companies that are not in geographic competition with existing members.

Click here for more information on Roundtables.

Contact Jim Tennant to discuss your participation in a Roundtable. 707-287-1311.

Negligent Entrustment

I am considered an expert in car rental related matters and often act as an expert witness in legal cases involving the car rental industry. Accidents involving rental cars are common, but since the passage of the Graves Amendment, the rental company is usually not liable for the actions of its customers. The most common exceptions are product liability and negligent entrustment. Click here for a good explanation of the Graves Amendment. Negligent entrustment occurs when a vehicle is entrusted to an individual that should not have been allowed to have the vehicle.

How do you, as a vehicle rental owner or operator, eliminate or reduce exposure to negligent entrustment lawsuits? By being careful to do two things.

First, have well documented procedures for qualifying renters. The possession of a facially valid driver’s license is obviously one requirement, but no rental company could survive very long if that were all they required of someone trying to rent a vehicle. Possession of a major credit card in the renter’s name that can be authorized for the amount of the rental is a common requirement and many rental companies will only rent to those that have one. Other companies will rent to those with a debit card or even do “cash rentals” to those without even a debit card, but to survive they must have further qualification procedures, such as verification of employment by providing pay stubs, verification of residence by providing utility bills, etc. Whatever the procedures are, they must be reasonable, not discriminatory and designed to avoid entrusting your vehicle to irresponsible, unsafe drivers.

Second, and just as important if not more so, these procedures must be followed every time. All negligent entrustment cases that I have been involved have been situations where a company’s procedures were not followed and the vehicle ended up in the hands of an obviously unqualified driver who caused a terrible accident, resulting in serious injuries and often death.

In summary, have well documented, reasonable qualification procedures, train your staff well and do not tolerate any deviations from your procedures.

If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail, please feel free to contact me.

Jim Tennant

Car Rental Show – How to Survive Your Market’s Bottom Feeder

Jim_Tennent_Podium_Left-425Why do they put mirrors at elevators? What does J D Powers have to do with rate management?

At the 2013 Car Rental Show, Michael Meyer of Rate Highway and I did a seminar on rate management that was very well attended and well received. We are teaming up again at this year’s show to do a seminar entitled “How to Survive Your Market’s Bottom Feeder“. You will learn the answers to these questions and many others by attending the seminar at 3 PM on Tuesday, April 13. See you there.

Go to the 2015 Car Rental Show web site.

Passing of Linda King

Linda King was an attorney based in San Diego who was a great friend of the vehicle rental industry. She showed independents and licensees how to dramatically reduce their insurance costs and she acted as the claims department for many companies, including mine. She also appeared at various state  hearings on behalf of the industry on many occasions.

She was my friend and I am very sorry to hear of her passing.

Jim Tennant

Latest Rate Survey Results

We receive rate surveys from Rate Highway every week and write a column for Auto Rental News Online every month, summarizing and analyzing the weekly rate surveys. Click here for the latest column.

Every Friday Rate Highway polls each of the eight major and a couple of secondary brands’ own web sites and the major online travel agencies, and pulls the lowest rate for a mid-size car (ICAR) for each brand for each day from 15 to 21 days out at the top 50 US airports for a two day and seven day rental. This results in approximately 6,000 individual quotes. We calculate the regional and nationwide averages, weighted by arriving passenger volume at each airport. We also calculate an average for each major brand at the top 20 airports. If you would like to discuss the methodology in more detail, please contact Jim Tennant – or 707-287-1311.

After about 18 months of year over year increases, rates flattened and then declined starting in June, 2014 (with a one month spike in July caused mostly by recalls). In mid December, Hertz Global Holdings announced that they were increasing rates and we saw the year over year weekly average go from down approximately $8 per day to up $2 to $3 per day. This increase lasted two weeks. The January 9th survey was down $2.21 from a year ago and the January 16th survey was down $4.87. The next two weeks will take us to the end of January and we will report the full month in our Auto Rental News column at that time. Watch for it!

Hello from Jim Tennant

This is our new web site, which includes blogging capability. I intend to post periodic updates on the following topics:

  • Updates from the rate survey. We do weekly rate surveys for a midsize car (ICAR) at the top 50 US airports every week and publish a monthly column in Auto Rental News’ online newsletter and more detailed looks in their print edition. Click here for the latest column.
    If we feel that a weekly survey has produced results that should be shared before the next monthly column, we will update you in a blog entitled “Rental Rates Update”.
  • Vehicle rental legal issues. We act as an expert witness and litigation consultant in many cases involving the vehicle rental industry. If we think that a case we are working on involves issues that would be of general interest to the industry, we will comment under the title of the issue, such as “Negligent Entrustment”. These comments will be subject to the confidentiality requirements of the case.
  • Tennant Group Roundtables. We chair a group of car rental business owners and GMs that share financial information and meet twice a year to exchange ideas, best practices, etc. It is the car rental equivalent to a Dealer 20 group of car dealership owners or GMs. We will keep you updated on the time and place of upcoming meetings and a summary of past meetings under the title “Tennant Group Roundtables”.
  • Car Rental Show and Auto Rental Summit. We attend and usually participate in both of these industry events and will comment on upcoming events and report on highlights of past events from our point of view, under the titles “Car Rental Show” and “Auto Rental Summit”.
  • Other car rental industry items of interest. As they arise, we will comment on the industry happenings.