Car Rentals in Europe: Understanding the Key Drivers of Customer Experience

July 2018

Category Analysis – Car Rentals

Region: Europe

Expansion in tourism and travel industry has led to a boom in car rental industry in Europe. Car rental market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of around 6%, during 2018 – 2023.  This report gives insight into the important features that users look out for before hiring a car for their leisure or work related trips.

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The analysis is based on customer reviews and conversations online in the segment. The analysis results presented are completely unbiased and not based on any subjective judgement. The source data used for the analysis are user conversations available publicly online like public forums and social media.


Total number of customer conversations analyzed


Car Rental Industry in Europe: An Overview

Car rental services allows customers to hire a car on rental basis for a specific period of time. Car rental services can be availed on offline and online platforms. Car renting includes hiring vehicles on a per hour or per kilometer basis. Car rental companies extend their services to tourists and other customers for a specific period ranging from days to months. 

Car Rental in Europe: Key Growth Drivers

The growth of travel and tourism industry has fueled the car rental business in Europe. With more number of tourists visiting Europe per month, the car rental business has seen greater business opportunities. 

Furthermore, Europe has made it easy to procure visa for tourists thereby attracting tourists from the international markets, like the United States, Japan, Canada,  and Australia. This relaxation in visa has propelled the tourism in Europe thereby driving the vehicle rental market.  As per studies, international tourist arrivals in Europe was 713 million in 2018 an increase from 628.31 million in 2017.

In addition, European car rental companies have offered online and walk-in booking services. Online services are much simpler making car rental booking more simple and accessible.

Other factors that are contributing to the growth of car rental market is the economic growth in Europe, availability of easy cr rental services, entry of new car rental players, and government policies that favor the customers.  Rise in purchasing power of the consumers, growing urbanization, higher awareness regarding environmental protection,  and the higher disposable income of the consumers is leading to growth of car rental industry.

Car Rentals in Europe: Understanding the Key Drivers of Customer Experience

Customer experience analysis is a powerful strategy used by brands to identify significant factors that improve customer experience.  By analyzing the key drivers of customer experience, brands can create robust business strategies that can help a brand to improve upon its offerings to customers.

Today customers are well informed, have higher disposable income and also want to travel around the world. Customers are demanding topnotch car rental services for their business and leisure tours. Most of the car rental companies in Europe are not sure of what the customers expect in a car rental service.

Based on the analysis of 4,368 online customer conversations, Clootrack has shortlisted key drivers of customer experience:

1. Anywhere Drop Offs  

Customers in Europe want to explore and experience unforgettable driving journey. They prefer picking up a car from a destination and dropping it off in another since it gives more flexibility during their trip.

2. Multi Language/Accurate Navigation

Europe has more than 23 officially recognized languages and is a home to hundreds of languages. Customers in Europe ask for car rental features that allow them to customize and translate any language content into their preferred language. Customers are looking for a navigation device that offers them freedom and confidence to explore unfamiliar territories. Customers feel that free navigation services in multi-languages should be one of the features of a car rental services.

3. Better Long Term Prices

Can a customer rent a car for 6 months for a reasonable price? Yes! Customers are looking for long term car rentals at reasonable prices. They are looking for options where the longer you rent a car, the more they save! Long-term car rentals are preferred by customers who love the ease and flexibility while exploring, and moving around without having to re-book a rental car each week.

4. Car Running Condition

Your long awaited well planned trip should not become a nightmare due to the bad car that you rented, Right? Customers have discussed this as one of their top factors while renting a car in Europe. Customers expect that the car rental companies offer cars that are checked for brakes, fluid levels, tires and all other things that could cause problems. Nobody wants to spend extra time and money for car repairs.

5. Car Cleanliness

A leisure trip can never be enjoyed in an unclean car. A customer who spends a lot of time in the car during their trips does not like to travel in cars that stink and are not washed and cleaned. Customers are looking for car rental companies that have a clean fleet of cars. Though this one is a very obvious feature, customers are discussing this in their online conversations. This shows the amount of importance that customers are laying on car cleanliness.

Brand Equity –  5 Car Rental Companies in Europe

Consumer perception, which is a combination of knowledge and experience, towards a brand and its products, builds brand equity. The perception that a consumer segment holds towards a brand directly results in either positive or negative effects.

Brand equity is an indicator of the company’s strength and performance, specifically in the public markets. In simple terms, brand Equity is the loyalty, perception, and awareness of a customer towards a brand. Brand equity can be created over a period of time by offering products that give a memorable experience, excellent quality, and highly reliable products to its customers. Brand equity is an asset that is the most valuable for a company, and even though it is intangible, it is vital for the success of a company.

In this report we have presented the relationship between different perception drivers in the form of a graph that can be used to sense the degree of importance consumers attach to various factors. We analyzed how each of the prominent brands fare each other in top perception drivers. We see that there are clear leaders in several drivers. Have a look below:

Car Rental in Europe – Top 3 Emerging Trends

Comfort and customization have emerged as the top trends in car rental services. Customers, with their higher disposable income, are willing to spend more in exchange for enhanced comfort. There are several emerging trends in the car rental industry in Europe. In Europe, growth of tourism and government policies will further help the growth of the car rental services. Top 3 emerging trends according to the analysis of the consumer conversations are discussed below:

1. Electric Vehicles With Free Charging

Customers want to indulge in an environmentally friendly yet technologically advanced car rental services. Many cities in Europe already are moving towards having electric points and charging stations readily available. Car rental companies should identify the emerging trend and make way for electric car rental where customers can enjoy guilt-free road trip that runs solely on electricity, in addition to providing free charging for its customers.

2. Rental Pools

Yet another trend emerging in car rental is the demand for car pool rentals. Customers are expecting rental pools at a best price to suit their needs. The carpooling services aim to pair people travelling between cities and drivers with empty seats in their cars. 

3. Mixed Vehicle Hiring ( car + bike +cycle)

Customers are no longer looking at just renting a car during their travel. They are exploring the world and do not want to be constrained by the type of vehicle in which they travel. Hence the mixed vehicle hiring is emerging as the latest trend in Europe. Customers wish to book a car and a bike from the same rental company and do not want to waste time in finding different sources.

Detailed Report

With the help of Competitive analysis, organizations can better understand their market landscape. When competitor analysis is performed using Artificial intelligence (AI), competitors’ sites can be analyzed to find trending consumer conversations, hot topics that are discussed about your competitor, and content that is attracting high views. Do want to know the other interesting insights about car rental services ? You can download the pdf version of the complete report for free. Enter your email at the end of this report and we ll send it to you for FREE.

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