US/GB: Reasons to rent a car
May 30th, 2022, Christien Pheby

US/GB: Reasons to rent a car

It’s been a big year for car rentals so far: in 2022, some reports have already indicated that hire prices have risen significantly in some parts of the world. Data from YouGov Profiles allows us to explore the motivations behind renting a car in certain markets – for the purpose of this piece, we’ll focus largely on Great Britain and the US.

In the US, 76% of consumers say they haven’t rented a car in the past 12 months; in Britain, this rises to 91%. So we can reasonably say that Americans are more likely to rent a car in the first place. For the reasons below, we’ve stripped out everyone who said they had not hired a car in the past year.

In America, the most popular reason to rent a car is for transportation while on holiday: two in five (41%) of those who had rented cars chose this option. In Britain, the most popular reason to rent a car is similar, but not quite the same: a quarter of the car-renting public hired a vehicle for a short holiday or weekend trip (25%), with nearly as many renting a car for any kind of holiday. This is also the second most popular reason to rent a car among US consumers (32%).

On a less fun note, three in ten Americans (29%) rented a car because their main vehicle was in the shop, compared to just 16% of Britons. This may suggest that more could perhaps be done to popularise rentals as an option for British drivers who are awaiting a repair for their primary vehicle. Americans are also more likely to use rentals for a business trip (16% vs. 12%).

The only categories where Britons are more likely to use rental cars are for running errands (20% vs. 14%), and transporting things – e.g. when moving apartment or house (18% vs. 14%).

YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

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