Until recently, the car rental industry experienced little change. As U.S. car rental companies benefit from the resurgence in travel spending by both domestic and foreign consumers, companies are equipped with more cash on their balance sheets to grow via mergers and acquisitions. A case in point, Parsippany, N.J.-based Avis Budget Group Inc. (Nasdaq: CAR) began pushing its traditional rental boundaries at the start of 2013.

Avis' M&A strategy-the purchases of Zipcar Inc. and Payless Car Rental System Inc.-reflected an increased exposure to the rapidly growing practice of car sharing and the move away from traditional rental-desk transactions.

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