October 14, 2022

The most popular cars rented across the world

Most of us may envision ourselves living out our road trip dreams in style by cruising along the autobahn in a vintage Jaguar or traversing a beautiful landscape in a Porsche SUV.

Despite this, driving a car abroad is a completely different experience from popping down to the shops in your beloved family runner. Different road signs, driving etiquette, and even having to drive on the other side of the road, can make for a stressful time for anyone.

Because of this, when it comes to making the decision, most people may be more inclined to go for something that will make them feel as comfortable as possible on foreign roads, all with the added bonus of saving them some money.

But if people aren't renting a supercar for their family holiday, what is the go-to car brand to rent in each country when going on vacation?

We investigated our internal data to find out which brands of car tourists are most likely to rent in nearly 200 countries and US states. We examined almost 500,000 bookings between 2014 and 2022, and the results are quite surprising!
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At the top of the leaderboard are Toyota and Volkswagen

The two car brands that scooped the top spot were Toyota and Volkswagen as the go-to choice for 20 countries as their trusty vacation vehicle.


People visiting New Zealand are most likely to want a Toyota to cruise around in when renting a vehicle. A healthy 64% of bookings reservations made in the country between 2014-2022 were for a car from the Japanese automotive manufacturer.

In New Zealand, the Toyota Vitz is the most popular car model making up 9% of bookings. Elsewhere, Australia's visitors were also fans of Toyota models, with 32% of bookings, highlighting the popularity of the brand in Oceania.

In Australia, the Toyota Corolla model was by far the most popular car with over one in five people choosing to rent this vehicle down under (21%).

Lastly, outside of Oceania, Toyota is also hugely popular in Canada. 29% of visitors to Canada rent a Toyota. The Toyota Corolla Sedan made up the majority of rentals, similarly to Australia, as 13% of people chose the model.
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People traveling to Croatia in Europe, favored the German car, with 11% choosing the brand as their holiday car and the VW Polo being the most popular.

Those vacationing in Poland were also likely to rent a Volkswagen vehicle when abroad. This is because 26% of people decided that Volkswagen would suit them best. The majority (11%) of these rentals were the Volkswagen Polo model.

Interestingly, the tourists visiting Mexico in North America are the third most likely to choose a Volkswagen as their rental car abroad, with 30% choosing the German manufacturer as their go-to. Similarly to Croatia and Poland, the most popular model was the Volkswagen Polo, as 16% of people rented it.

Second from the top are the Kia and Hyundai

We also found tourists visiting 10 countries out of the 186 we looked at are most likely to choose a Kia vehicle to rent. Hyundai is tied for second place, too, with tourists visiting 10 countries renting a Hyundai most often.

Our data revealed Cyprus as one of the destinations where tourists were most likely to choose this South Korean brand of car with 19% of all bookings between 2014 and 2022 being a Kia. The Kia Picanto was the most popular model, making up 15% of all rentals in the island country.

Another country that people are most likely to rent a Kia when visiting is Jordan, situated in Western Asia. 26% of people decided that was the brand that would suit them best. 13% of these rentals were a Kia Picanto.

Lastly, the Netherlands is another country where tourists are most likely to choose a Kia as their rental car, with 14% choosing this brand. Like other countries, the most popular car model was the Kia Picanto at 8%.

People traveling to the United Arab Emirates tended to choose the South Korean car brand, with 18% of rentals being a Hyundai. However, despite the Hyundai brand being the most favored, the Kia Picanto proved the most popular car model at 7%.

Tourists vacationing on the Island of Mauritius are very much in the South Korean car fan club, with 25% choosing Hyundai as their go-to car. Again, the most popular model was not a Hyundai, instead, the Renault Kwid made up 12% of rentals.

Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, is another destination where tourists are most likely to rent a Hyundai with 69% rentals. The Hyundai i10 made up the majority of the rentals at 46%.
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In third place is Renault

Nine out of the 186 countries have Renault as the car brand most likely to be rented by international tourists.

Tourists in Turkey are more likely to choose French manufacturer's vehicles for their holiday rental. 25% of all rentals were a Renault and 18% were a Renault Clio.

The Azores Islands, found in the mid-Atlantic, is the next location where tourists have a preference for Renault. 29% of tourists traveling there rent Renault vehicles.

Despite 29% of the Azores' rentals being a Renault, the Ford Fiesta was actually the most popular model.
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Fiat ranks as the most popular car brand in 6 locations

Travelers in six out of the 186 countries analyzed were most likely to rent a car model from the Italian car manufacturer, Fiat.

The Italian car brand is the most preferred when it comes to car rentals in its home country, Italy. Here, Fiat accounts for 48% of car rentals, a massive portion of bookings in Italy. The favorite model in Italy is the Fiat Panda (27%).

Staying in Europe, tourists in Portugal were also most likely to select a car from Fiat, with the car brand making up 21% of bookings.

Lastly, like its neighbor, mainland Spain's visitors also showed a preference for Fiat models. Overall, Fiats accounted for 19% of car rentals in the country, the most popular model is the Fiat 500 (12%).

However, it wasn't just countries where Fiat was the most popular model. In the Balearic Islands and Crete, this brand proved to be the most popular, accounting for 18% of rentals in Crete and 33% in the Balearic Islands.

Evidently, there were some surprises in there; we definitely expected to see the iconic Ford brand as the favorite of people visiting different countries around the world.

However, tourists heading to France clearly want to indulge themselves with a Peugeot on their trip, as it is the obvious rental choice making up 32% of all rentals.
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What would be your number one choice when driving abroad?

If you need help with finding the best deal for your next trip, get in touch with our team.


DiscoverCars.com reviewed a total of 490,558 car rentals between 2014 and 2022 in a total of 186 countries. The maps show the most popular cars rented by tourists in each country.

Aleksandrs Buraks

Head of Growth at DiscoverCars.com
Aleksandrs has over 10 years of experience in marketing with a focus on creating stellar content that provides topical insights using data. Having taken five road trips across Europe and one in the U.S., he is passionate about traveling by car. His favorite countries to visit are Denmark and Thailand. You can find him on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter.