This study reports on surveys of UK residents who make personal car rental trips in the UK. Details of 3,947 rentals were received from 3,700 customers.

This study showed that rental is used by a wide range of people for a diverse variety of purposes, interacting in a complex way with both one-off travel decisions and longer strategic choices.
Although a significant proportion of renters reported that public transport was one of the options they would have considered for their trip if rental had not been available, it was also notable that, on average, rental customers make more frequent trips by public transport, cycling and walking than the average British car licence holder. Moreover, for 35% of rentals made, people reported that the only other option they would have considered was using another car or van (via getting a lift, borrowing a vehicle etc). On average, rental vehicles are relatively efficient and well-maintained compared to private cars, and used with relatively high vehicle occupancies.

Meanwhile, the greatest impacts of rental may be on decisions about car ownership. A third of those renting cars live in households that don't own a vehicle. 26% reported that they are less likely to buy a(nother) vehicle in future, compared with 10% who reported they are more likely to do so. 15-24% reported that, in the past, the opportunity to rent has meant that they delayed vehicle ownership or owned fewer household vehicles than they otherwise would have done (compared with only 3% reporting at least one of the opposite effects).

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