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Europe Car Rental Market

Europe Car Rental Market Size, Trend and Share Analysis by Car Type, by Power, by Source, by Duration, and by Country for 2024-2031

PMR Says the Car Rental Market in Europe will See Significant Growth in Upcoming Years as Tourism Soars to New Heights, and More Consumers Prefer the Ease of Car Rental Services

Europe Car Rental Market Size and Share Analysis

The Europe car rental market is estimated to value at US$26.1 Bn by the end of 2031 from US$17.6 Bn recorded in 2024. The market is expected to secure a CAGR of 5.8% in the forthcoming years from 2024 to 2031.

Market Attributes

Key Insights

Europe Car Rental Market Size (2024E)

US$17.6 Bn

Projected Market Value (2031F)

US$26.1 Bn

Projected Growth Rate (CAGR 2024 to 2031)

5.8%

Historical Growth Rate (CAGR 2019 to 2023)

4.5%

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Market Introduction

Europe's car rental market is at the forefront of convenience, mobility, and adventure, catering to the diverse demands of tourists across the continent. From bustling city streets to scenic country roads, the automobile rental industry offers limitless opportunities for adventure and discovery.

The European car rental market is a vibrant ecosystem with a diverse range of organizations, including multinational and local operators. Europe attracts millions of tourists each year thanks to its diverse tapestry of cultures, landscapes, and attractions, increasing demand for rental vehicles.

Post COVID-19, the market has risen significantly driven by factors such as rising tourism, urbanization, and technological advancements.

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Historical Growth and Course Ahead

The notion of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) gained popularity, with car rental businesses expanding their products to include ride-sharing, car-sharing, and subscription services. This trend was prompted by a growing desire for affordable and on-demand transportation options.

Technological improvements have continued to influence the sector.

Mobile applications for booking, car tracking, and customer support are now widely used, improving the whole user experience. The combination of informatics and data analytics has enabled businesses to improve fleet management, cut operational costs, and increase service quality.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a tremendous impact on the car rental industry, changing travel and mobility patterns across Europe. Lockdowns, travel restrictions, and less tourism resulted in a substantial decrease in demand for car rentals.

Companies had significant challenges, such as fleet utilization concerns and financial strain.

The European automobile rental market is currently undergoing recovery and restructuring.

To fuel expansion, the industry is exploiting advances in technology, sustainability initiatives, and shifting customer tastes. The adoption of electric cars, the rise of mobility services, and the emphasis on customer experience are all predicted to affect the market's future.

Key Trends and Innovations Shaping the Market

  • Car rental companies have accelerated the adoption of contactless services.
  • Automatic driving technologies such as ADAS, and cruise control are gaining popularity in the Europe's car rental industry.
  • The demand for complete protection coverage for rental cars is on the rise.
  • Growing integration of electric and hybrid vehicles into rental fleets.
  • Strategic alliances with airlines, hotels, and travel agencies for integrated packages.
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Market Growth Drivers

Europe’s Booming Tourism Industry

Europe is home to some of the world's most famous cultural and historical sites. These attractions draw tourists from all over the world, who often prefer to rent vehicles and travel at their leisure, visiting multiple destinations in a single trip. The ability to explore remote and inaccessible regions adds to the appeal of car rentals.

In addition to international tourism, domestic tourism in Europe also increasing. Residents of European countries are increasingly choosing for staycations, or short trips within or near their own country. Car rentals provide the freedom and adaptability to explore regional sights and lesser-known destinations, so contributing to the growth of the car rental sector.

The Rise of Online Car Rental Platforms

With the advent and growth of online car rental platforms, the European car rental industry has undergone significant transformation. This digital revolution has played a significant role in the growth and evolution of the automotive rental industry, influencing how consumers interact with rental services and how firms operate.

The ease, accessibility, and efficiency of online platforms have proven important in expanding their client base, streamlining procedures, and improving the consumer experience.

The widespread use of smartphones has spurred the growth of online car rental companies. Mobile apps provide convenience by allowing consumers to book, change, and manage rentals while on the road.

These apps' GPS- and location-based capabilities enable users to find the closest rental sites, track their rental cars, and navigate new areas. Mobile wallets and secure payment gateways have simplified the transaction process, allowing customers to pay for rentals fast and securely.

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Factors Impeding the Market Growth

High Operational Costs

One of the most important elements of operational expenses in the car rental industry is buying and maintaining of the vehicle fleet. To suit the different demands of consumers, automobile rental firms must maintain a diverse and up-to-date fleet, which includes economy cars, premium vehicles, and electric models.

Vehicles have a high initial purchase cost, which is worsened by the requirement for frequent fleet modifications to keep up with market developments and consumer preferences. Furthermore, vehicles in rental fleets deteriorate quickly due to frequent usage, lowering their resale value and necessitating ongoing fleet replenishment investments.

Moreover, to attract and maintain customers, businesses must frequently invest in promotional activities, offer competitive pricing, and give value-added services. This competitive market needs continuous investments in improvement of quality, customer service enhancements, and technical advancements, all of which add to greater operational costs.

Future Opportunities for Car Rental Companies in Europe

EV Adoption for Sustainable an Eco-Friendly Fleets

On April 19, 2023, the European Parliament and Council revised the Regulation to enhance CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and vans, aligning them with the EU's goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

This amendment tightened the emission targets that apply from 2030 and established a 100% emission reduction target for both cars and vans beginning in 2035.As a result, car rental companies are rapidly turning to electric vehicles to comply with these requirements and avoid the substantial fines connected with exceeding emissions restrictions.

The adoption of EVs gives car rental companies a unique selling point (USP) that sets them apart from competitors. Companies that position themselves as leaders in sustainable mobility can enhance their brand image and reputation.

The differentiation is especially important for attracting corporate clients and environmentally conscious consumers that prioritize sustainability in their travel and transportation choices.

Unique Customer Loyalty Programs

In the heavily competitive European car rental market, developing unique loyalty programs represents a big opportunity for businesses to retain existing customers while attracting new ones. Loyalty programs have grown from simple point-accumulation systems to sophisticated instruments for improving customer experience, fostering brand loyalty, and driving revenue development.

Advanced data analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) systems can provide valuable information, allowing organizations to tailor loyalty programs to specific client segments. Regular clients can benefit from faster services and upgrades, while leisure tourists may prioritize discounts for extended rentals and family-friendly features.

Category-wise Analysis

Category

Projected CAGR through 2031

Power Source – Fully Electric

8.9%

Duration – Short-Term Rental

6.2%

Fully Electric Vehicles Witness Substantial Growth in Car Rental Business

The expanding use of electric vehicles in the car rental business is primarily driven by the need to promptly address climate change and environmental concerns. Europe has led the way in environmental lobbying, with several nations passing legislation to reduce carbon emissions and promote eco-friendly transportation.

The European Union has set high standards for itself to become carbon neutral by 2050, forcing its member states to pass laws encouraging the use of clean energy and low-emission vehicles. Car rental companies are progressively expanding their fleets of fully electric vehicles to meet new rules and reduce their environmental impact.

Although there are benefits and drawbacks to integrating electric vehicles, and it will cost money and require careful planning. However, the move to electric cars is expected to completely transform the car rental market and establish it as a major force in the future's greener, more sustainable transition.

Short-Term Car Rentals Account for the Lion’s Share

Short-term rental services are becoming a popular and affordable substitute for traditional car ownership. These services give customers on-demand access to cars without the long-term commitment or financial burden of ownership, with variable rental durations ranging from hours to days.

Whether for work travels, leisure travels, or everyday errands, short-term rentals provide an easy-to-use and adaptable approach to accommodate a range of mobility requirements.

Flexibility and sustainability in mobility solutions will be highly needed as urbanization and population density rise, especially in large cities. Short-term rentals provide easy access to a wide fleet of cars that are suited to individual requirements and tastes, so they're well-positioned to meet this demand.

Country-wise Analysis

Country

CAGR through 2031

France

4.2%

Germany

5.4%

France to Account for a Significant Market Share

With its famous landmarks, France is one of the world's most visited countries. Travelers from all over the world are drawn to it by its variety of attractions, which include gorgeous coastal regions, charming rural areas, and historic cities.

In addition, France is located at the intersection of Europe, provides access to its neighbors, which include Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. Because of its advantageous location, it is a great place for visitors to begin cross-border road trips and explorations.

The great demand for car rental services is a result of the large number of tourists who opt to rent automobiles in France to take leisurely drives through the gorgeous French countryside or to travel to adjacent countries.

Germany to Exhibit a Notable CAGR

Germany is a key hub for international travel and business due to its advantageous location inside the EU, which increases demand for automobile rental services. With its vast highway system and proximity to neighbouring nations like France, Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, Germany is a popular hub for tourists visiting Europe.

Renting a car gives tourists the freedom to cross borders easily, making it easier to see multiple locations and improving the trip experience in general.

Electric and hybrid car adoption in the rental car industry is being driven by Germany's dedication to sustainability and environmental conservation, which is in line with the growing trend towards eco-friendly mobility options.

With the growing consciousness of air pollution and climate change, buyers are looking for more environmentally friendly substitutes for conventional gasoline-powered automobiles.

To meet this demand, German car rental firms are increasing the number of electric and hybrid vehicles in their fleets, encouraging environmentally friendly travel, and cutting carbon emissions.

Competitive Landscape for the Car Rental Market

Acquisition, and partnership in the development of the innovative products and the expansion of production capacities are the key growth strategies followed by the key players in the market.

The market for car rental in Europe is characterized by a high level of competition among established players, each striving to attract affluent consumers through competitive pricing and discounts, convenient booking options, diverse vehicle fleet, technology innovations and excellent customer service.

Top Industry Players Profiled

Recent Developments in the Europe Car Rental Market

January 2024

Germany-based car rental company Sixt will purchase 250,000 Stellantis vehicles for use across Europe and in North America by 2026.

In 2023

Uber announced that users in Greece and seven other European markets (Belgium, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, France) can make a car rental reservation with Uber Rent through the Uber app.

In 2022

Swedish electric-car maker Polestar has signed a deal with Hertz to supply up to 65,000 battery-powered vehicles.

Europe Car Rental Market - Report Scope & Segmentation

Attributes

Details

Forecast Period

2024 to 2031

Historical Data Available for

2018 to 2023

Market Analysis

US$ Bn for Value

Key Countries Covered

  • Germany
  • France
  • UK
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Russia
  • Rest of Europe

Key Market Segments Covered

  • Car Type
  • Power Source
  • Duration
  • Countries

Key Companies Profiled in the Report

  • Avis
  • Enterprise Holdings, Inc
  • Europcar
  • The Hertz Corporation
  • Free2Move
  • Budget Rent A Car System, Inc.
  • SIXT
  • OK Mobility
  • ACE Rent A Car
  • DTG Operations, Inc.
  • Flizzr Car Hire

Report Coverage

  • Market Forecast and Trends
  • Company Share Analysis
  • Competitive Intelligence
  • DROT Analysis
  • Market Dynamics and Challenges
  • Strategic Growth Initiatives

Customization & Pricing

Available upon request

Europe Car Rental Market Segmentation

By Car Type

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • SUV
  • Van
  • Commercial
  • Luxury

By Power Source

  • Petrol
  • Diesel
  • Fully Electric
  • Hybrid

By Duration

  • Short-Term Rental
  • Long-Term Rental

By Country

  • Germany
  • France
  • UK
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Russia
  • Rest of Europe

- Companies Covered in This Report -

- Frequently Asked Questions -

The Europe Car Rental Market is expected to grow at 5.8 % CAGR during the forecasted period.

Europe’s booming tourism industry and rise of online car rental platforms is surging the demand for car rental market in Europe.

Some of the key players operating in the market are Avis, Enterprise Holdings, Inc, Europcar, The Hertz Corporation, Free2Move, Budget Rent A Car System, Inc., and SIXT.

SUV cars are most preferred cars for rental in Europe.

France holds maximum share in the Europe’s car rental market.

Germany is expected to show significant growth in the Europe’s car rental market.

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