2023 Car Hire Study: Survey Results & Statistics

By , 01 November 2023

3 mins read

The number of outbound holidays for the UK populous reached more than 46 million over the last year and car hire has similarly grown, being worth an estimated 12 billion USD in 2023.

At the end of the 2023 holiday season, the team at ReduceMyExcess conducted a study into the UK’s experience of car hire with the aim of understanding more your perception of the car hire industry, so we might better serve you with the best insurance product possible.

We asked 570 people questions about their car hire experience. Alongside this, we also collected 3700 reviews of car hire companies where customers were asked to rate their experience between one and five stars (with a score of one being the lowest, and five being the highest).

How many people who hire cars have a bad experience with the hire company?

Of those surveyed, more than half (54%) said they had an overall bad experience with their hire car company.

Do bad experiences with car hire companies stop people hiring cars?

Our survey revealed that only 24% would be so put off by a negative experience that they’d never hire a car again. This means that the vast majority (76%) would continue to hire cars regardless of how badly they felt they were treated.

How many people had more than one bad experience with a car hire company?

Our study found that just over 43% of those who had hired multiple times, would have multiple bad experiences, showing that even with experience of how hire car companies operate, you are only marginally less likely to have a bad time.

Does the gender of a car hire customer affect likelihood of a bad experience?

We asked our respondents to let us know their gender.

There were marginal differences between the responses from men and women. For instance, the chances of having a negative car hire experience for men was 55%, whilst for women it was 54%.

Similar levels of men and women had multiple bad experiences with car hires at 23% and 24% respectively. However, women were slightly more likely to be put off hiring again at 27% versus 23% of men.

What about those who don’t identify as men or women?

For those who didn’t identify as men or women, the chances of a negative experience was seemingly much lower at 36% for one negative experience, whilst the chances of having more than one negative experience were comparable to the other genders.

Do single people, couples, families or friendship have the most negative experiences?

Our research revealed that 46% of negative experiences affected couples hiring cars. 17% were single people, families made up 28% and friends just 9%.

How do UK customers rate car hire companies?

We found that 34% of all customer reviews for car hire company reviews were negative (either one, or two stars out of five).

Which is the worst car hire company by customer feedback?

The worst rated car hire firm, Goldcar, had 73% bad reviews at the time of this study.

Which are the worst rated car hire companies, by customer feedback?

The five worst rated car hire firms were:

  1. Goldcar (1.9 average star rating, 73% negative reviews)
  2. InterRent (2.1 average star rating, 67% negative reviews)
  3. Easirent (2.1 average star rating, 66% negative reviews)
  4. Delpaso (2.5 average star rating, 63% negative reviews)
  5. Sicily By Car (2.6 average star rating 58% negative reviews)

How can ReduceMyExcess help make customer experiences better?

We can’t reduce the number of negative experiences that customers will be faced with, but our car hire excess insurance product can help take the stress out of a negative car hire experience if you find that your car hire company are charging you for damage to the rental vehicle. We can also reduce the amount you pay to the car hire company, because with our car hire excess insurance, you do not need to accept additional, costly waivers pushed by the hire company at the desk.

Learn more about car hire