4 aoû 21

Car rental on road to recovery across Europe

Six months into 2021, market data specialist Dataforce looked at how car rental companies are faring one year after the worst effects of the pandemic. In particular, they looked at the situation in Germany, in Italy and in Spain.

Germany is the largest nation in Europe in terms of car rentals, registering twice the number of new vehicles than the number two. In 2020, Germany registered just under 300,000 passenger vehicles, down over 30% from 2019 because of the pandemic.

Spain and Italy are both subject to more seasonality because of the tourist flow in the summer months. From 2016 to 2019, for instance, both countries registered 77.9% and 78.3% of all car-rental registrations in the first six months of the year.

Both countries were particularly hard hit by the pandemic. In Spain, registrations fell by no less than 59.7% compared to 2019 with 250,000 new vehicles and Italy was down 50.8% with 175,000 registrations.


Given the seasonality in Spain and Italy, Dataforce believes the first half of the year is a good gauge on progress of recovery. Year-to-date, Spain sees the strongest recovery, up by 98.8%, equating to over 55,000 more registrations. An increase is also visible in Italy, albeit less pronounced, by 21.9%. Germany, which suffered far less in 2020 than its Southern European counterparts, grew by 20.2%, highlighting that a large portion of the car rental market in Germany is the result of economic drivers other than tourism.


Dataforce also investigated the figures for tourist hotspots like Sardinia, Sicily and the Canary Islands:

  • The Italian islands are up by 109.8% YTD with a marked growth of the share of hybrids, PHEVs and BEVs. These results mean there were more registrations in 2021 YTD than in the full years of 2019 and 2020.
  • The Canary Islands have also done well, going up by 86.3%. Electrified powertrains also performed well, with three times the number of PHEVs, 52.5% more hybrids and 68.3% more BEVs.

Photo copyright: Shutterstock

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck