Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

UK Holiday Car Hire market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Holiday Car Hire market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Scope of this Report

This Report covers holiday car hire abroad. It excludes any business use, any non-holiday leisure use and any use of car hire in the domestic market. Bookings may be made in the UK, but the primary use for a vehicle must be for a holiday abroad.

What you need to know

Mintel’s consumer research shows that the proportion of holidaymakers hiring cars while abroad has been in decline over the past year. Despite this, the market is still experiencing volume growth, due to the increase in the number of overseas holidays being taken overall. However, growth is slowing; Mintel expects the volume of cars hired by British holidaymakers abroad to grow by 2% in 2018 (compared to annual increases of 5.5% in 2016 and 3% in 2017), bringing the total to approximately 3.53 million hires. At the time of writing, the cost of holidaying in Europe is still more expensive due to the weak Pound. This will have curbed spending somewhat, hitting ancillary holiday products such as car hire.

On a more positive note, the Pound has recovered against the US Dollar which is good news for providers considering the US is a key market for holiday car hires. Consumer confidence is also rising; wages have finally started to outpace inflation and unemployment is at its lowest level since 1975.

Consumer budgets play a major role in this market, with cost of rentals being the most important factor for the majority (64%) when selecting a vehicle. This means that electric cars are an attractive option for price conscious consumers; 60% of car renters say they would choose an electric car over a petrol/diesel fuelled one if it saved them money.

In terms of attitudes towards holiday car hire, Mintel’s research finds that UK consumers are highly brand conscious. The vast majority of holiday car renters say they would only rent cars abroad from well-known brands, while most say they trust UKbased car rental companies more than ones abroad.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Fergal McGivney, a leading analyst in the Technology & Travel sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Holidaymakers are highly cautious when dealing with car hire companies – many worry about the possibility of hidden/additional costs. However, technological innovation is creating some exciting developments in this mature market, and brands will need to move towards a more transparent, customer-friendly way of operating. Fergal McGivney
Technology & Travel Analyst

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Scope of this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Sluggish growth in the holiday car rental market
              • Figure 1: Forecast volume of holiday car hires abroad by UK residents, 2013-23
            • British consumers are more positive about their finances
              • Companies and brands
                • Europcar most popular amongst UK consumers
                    • Figure 2: Usage of car hire companies, December 2014 and March 2018
                  • The consumer
                    • The proportion of Brits hiring cars is in decline
                      • Figure 3: Holiday car hire usage, May 2017-March 2018
                    • USA, France and Spain are key holiday car rental markets
                      • Figure 4: Countries visited while hiring a car, March 2018
                    • Families are key targets but are price sensitive
                      • Figure 5: Types of holidays taken when hiring a car, March 2018
                    • Opportunities in the peer-to-peer sharing market
                      • Is the rise of short breaks making it more difficult to rent cars?
                        • Figure 6: Length of time last holiday car was rented for, March 2018
                      • The scope for peer-to-to peer rentals
                        • Figure 7: Attitudes towards holiday car hire, March 2018
                      • What we think
                      • Issues and Insights

                        • Electric cars appeal to younger generations
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • How much of a threat is Uber to rental firms?
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                    • Sluggish growth in the holiday car rental market
                                      • Overseas holiday volume remains resilient
                                        • Consumers more positive about their current finances…
                                          • …and their future finances…
                                            • …as wages increase and unemployment falls
                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                              • Sluggish growth in the holiday car rental market
                                                • Figure 8: Total overseas car rental volume, 2013-23
                                                • Figure 9: Forecast volume of holiday car hires abroad by UK residents, 2013-23
                                              • Overseas volume figures have remained resilient but growth is slowing
                                                • Figure 10: Future plans for holidays, December 2017
                                                • Figure 11: Domestic holiday market volume versus overseas market volume (trips), 2012-22
                                              • Forecast methodology
                                              • Market Drivers

                                                • British consumers are more positive about their current finances
                                                  • Figure 12: Trends in how respondents would describe their financial situation, March 2014-April 2018
                                                • …and are optimistic about their future finances
                                                  • Figure 13: Trends in consumer sentiment for the coming year, March 2013-April 2018
                                                • A brighter outlook for the UK economy
                                                  • More consumers plan to book holidays in the next three months
                                                    • Figure 14: Plans to book holidays in the next three months, March 2014-April 2018
                                                  • Rising oil price could boost electric/hybrid car rentals
                                                    • Figure 15: Price of Europe Brent Spot Price FOB (Dollars per Barrel), May 2014-April 2018
                                                  • The Pound recovers against the Dollar
                                                    • Figure 16: Pound Sterling versus US Dollar and the Euro, May 2015-May 2018
                                                  • Uber and Lyft offer cheaper hassle-free alternatives
                                                    • The move towards greater transparency will benefit the car rental market
                                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Avis moves into second place in terms of usage by UK consumers
                                                        • Europcar acquires Goldcar to focus on the low-cost market
                                                          • Hertz looks towards 2019 for growth
                                                            • Hyrecar offers peer-to-peer sharing
                                                            • Market Share

                                                              • Europcar, Avis and Hertz top the list
                                                                  • Figure 17: Usage of car hire companies, December 2014 and March 2018
                                                              • Competitive Strategies

                                                                • Europcar
                                                                  • Avis
                                                                    • Hertz
                                                                      • Enterprise
                                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                        • Silvercar eases costs for families renting its high-end Audies
                                                                          • Blacklane shows that car rentals are not all about driving yourself
                                                                            • Fair acquires Skurt to leverage its technology
                                                                              • Hyrecar offers peer-to-peer sharing
                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                • The proportion of UK consumers hiring cars is in decline
                                                                                  • USA, France and Spain are the key holiday car rental markets
                                                                                    • Families are key targets but are price sensitive
                                                                                      • 4-7 days is the most common rental period
                                                                                        • Consumers want well-known trustworthy car rental brands
                                                                                          • Cheaper electric cars have strong appeal
                                                                                            • How much of a threat is Uber to rental firms?
                                                                                            • Holiday Car Hire

                                                                                              • The proportion of UK consumers hiring cars is in decline
                                                                                                • Figure 18: Holiday car hire, May 2017-March 18
                                                                                              • Car hire as a gateway to new experiences and the CaaS model
                                                                                                • Figure 19: Holiday car hire, by age, March 2016-March 2018
                                                                                              • USA, France and Spain are the key holiday car rental markets
                                                                                                • Authentic experiences appeal
                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Countries visited while hiring a car, March 2018
                                                                                                • Types of Holiday Taken

                                                                                                  • Families are key targets but are price sensitive
                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Types of holidays taken when hiring a car, March 2018
                                                                                                  • Opportunities in the peer-to-peer sharing market
                                                                                                    • Combining holiday types can be key for rental companies
                                                                                                      • Beach holidaymakers looking for more than a ‘fly and flop’ break
                                                                                                        • Special interest-based partnerships
                                                                                                        • Length of Time and Spend

                                                                                                          • Is the rise of short breaks making it more difficult to rent cars?
                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Length of time last holiday car was rented for, March 2018
                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Statistics on length of time holiday car was hired for, March 2018
                                                                                                          • Spending on holiday car hire
                                                                                                            • Policy changes could boost credit card purchases
                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Spending per day on holiday car rental, March 2018
                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Spending per holiday on car rental, March 2018
                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Holiday Rental Cars

                                                                                                            • Consumers want well-known trustworthy car rental brands
                                                                                                              • Cost is the number one consideration for the majority…
                                                                                                                • …meaning cheaper electric cars have strong appeal
                                                                                                                  • How much of a threat is Uber to rental firms?
                                                                                                                    • The Uber revolution
                                                                                                                      • Responding to Uber’s transparency and convenience
                                                                                                                        • The scope for peer-to-to peer rentals
                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Attitudes towards holiday car hire, March 2018
                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                            • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                              • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Best- and worst-case forecast for total UK passenger uplift, 2017-22