Most popular car hire brands revealed

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For many people, hiring a car is a part of their dream holiday. When it comes to exploring a new destination, hiring a car can grant you freedom, and allow you to visit some otherwise inaccessible places. Maybe it’s hiring a four-wheel drive that allows you to explore the Australian outback. Maybe it’s zooming down a Californian coastline in a convertible or hearing the roar or a vintage Jaguar on the autobahn.

However, driving an unfamiliar car on unfamiliar roads can be stressful. According to Discover Cars, this makes many drivers choose to hire vehicles they already feel comfortable driving.

But if we aren’t all driving Porsches around the Italian countryside, what cars are we choosing to hire? The answers may surprise you. has tallied the numbers, looking at more than 100 countries to reveal the most popular car brands for tourists to hire.

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Third place
The third most popular car brand to rent around the world is – drum roll please – Renault!

In nine of the 109 countries in the study, Renault was the most popular brand to be rented by international tourists: 56 per cent of all tourist rentals in Belarus were a Renault Logan and 49 per cent of tourists visiting Egypt and Guadeloupe hired Renaults.

While people travelling to Egypt had a similar taste to tourists in Belarus, with 39 per cent of all hires being a Renault Logan, a third of tourists in Guadeloupe opted to hire the Renault Twingo.

Second place
Tied for second place are two South Korean car brands, Hyundai and Kia.

In Seychelles, 49 per cent of all tourist car rentals were a Hyundai i10, and 74 per cent of all rentals were from the same brand. Tourists in Panama also seem to love Hyundai, making up 55 per cent of their total rentals, with Hyundai i10s making up a majority of these.

This South Korean car brand is also hugely popular in the Philippines, were it makes up 65 per cent of all rentals. However, here tourists seem to have a preference for a different model, with the Hyundai Accent making up 64 per cent of all rentals.

In Aruba, 84 per cent of  tourists choose to hire a Kia, with the Kia Picanto making up 69 per cent of rentals. In Bahrain, 83 per cent of tourists hire a Kia, with the Kia Picanto being the most popular model. In Curacao, 74 per cent of visitors opt to hire a Kia, and the most popular model? You guessed it, the Kia Picanto, making up 44 per cent of all rentals.

Credit to

First place
Drawing for first place on the leader board are Toyota and Volkswagen.

In the US, 59 per cent of the people visiting Colorado, who hire cars, choose a Toyota. In fact, the Toyota Yaris makes up 21 per cent of all visitor car rentals in Colorado. In Georgia, 30 per cent of cars rented are Toyota Corolla sedans, and 45 per cent of all rentals are from the same brand.

Thailand also apparently attracts Toyota fans, as 52 per cent of all cars rented by visitors are from the Japanese manufacturer. Off all these renters, 9 per cent choose to hire a Toyota Corolla.

In Germany, 25 per cent of cars hired by tourists are the VW Polo, and 68 per cent of all rental cars are from Volkswagen. Norway’s tourists also love Volkswagen, with 57 per cent of them choosing to hire one of their cars. In Norway, 28 per cent of all car rentals are a VW Polo.

In Latvia, 52 per cent of tourists have the same preference, although the VW Golf is their most popular model, making up 20 per cent of all car rentals.

Australia’s favourite
If you had to guess the most popular brand of car hired by tourists in Australia, what would you have guessed? If you’re answer was Hyundai, you’d be correct.

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Is hiring a car a part of your getaway dream? If you could hire any car in the world, which would you chose and where would you drive it?

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Written by livga


Total Comments: 5
  1. 0

    It really doesn’t matter which cars are the most popular, the biggest problem is the honesty of the hire companies in the brands and models they advertise compared to what is actually available when you arrive at the hire depot. I always (except for the US and Canada) look for a VW Golf which will take two good sized bags, is economical but roomy, performs well and is easy to park. Most companies offer this car and it is what I order but when we arrive it is almost never available even in Germany and if it is they then want to charge extra for it. Of course they already have your deposit and credit card details so walking away is not an option. The last thing I want to do at five in the morning in pouring rain in a strange city is drive onto an autobahn in an unfamiliar car.

  2. 0

    No. I’ll never hire a car again. Not after what we went through in the UK in 2013.

    They wouldn’t take our prepaid Visa debit card, as that was the only card we had that had GBP on it. Found out after we arrived home that not even Australian hire car companies take prepaid cards.

    No car hire company is going to get their grubby hands on my Australian bank account! They charge in their own currency, and then take an extra dip with currency conversion fees. Forget it!

    • 0

      You can often pay in Australia these days but there are still likely to be some local costs that you cant. I did not have any issue last time I hired a car in the UK but then I also have UK driving license.

    • 0

      SuziJ . You will need a credit card to cover the insurance excess in virtually every country including Australia. However, one way of overcoming the currency issue is through a multi-currency debit card available from all banks and even the post office. You will still pay a conversion fee to your bank but at least its known. Pay for the car hire in their local currency using the debit card and offer the credit card for security. They will normally make a small refundable withdrawal from the credit card to prove it is active. I’ve hired cars many times in the UK trouble free using an EU licence, occasionally getting the car I had ordered. Always pay in local currency for everything, do not give them the option of converting to Aus$.

  3. 0

    It has little to do with specific models I suspect. It has more to do with cost. Notice these cars are all small cars and some the cheapest model they make. Also when hiring a car you are given what is available at the time you want it. Costs add up over extended periods of time so not very surprising really.



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