The rise of mobile usage for car rental searches and bookings is no longer news, it’s well established and documented that more and more of us are using mobile devices to search and book travel than ever, a trend that shows no signs of slowing.
We decided to delve a little deeper into the statistics to see which nationalities are more likely to book a rental car using a mobile device and which are least likely. Our study is based on over 8,000 rentals booked in 2018 and looks at the highest grossing source markets to see who is most comfortable on mobile and who still prefer the apparent comfort of a desktop.
Who tops the List?
From our data, it’s the Russians that are most comfortable booking their rental car on mobile with more than 1 in 3 rentals booked by Russian’s being completed on mobile devices. Australians are best of the rest with just over 1 in 4 car rentals booked on a mobile device. The UK sit's in 4th position with exactly 1 in 4 of us booking our rental car on our mobile device.
And who’s propping up the table?
According to our data, the French are the most reluctant to book car rental on mobile with fewer than in 1 in 6 (15.6%) car rental bookings being made on mobile with Germany second from bottom at just 16%.
Car Rental Searches by Device
Over the same period, mobile accounted for 50.3% of car rental searches with just 49.7% carried out on desktop. So why do over half of those customers who search for car hire on mobile (and tablet), return to desktop to book? Security is likely the main reason, or rather the perception of security over mobile devices. Research suggests that people tend to make higher value purchsaes on desktop rather than mobile.
Average Lead Times – Mobile v Desktop v Phone
It didn’t come as a great surprise to see that average lead times and average rental durations were shorter on mobile, however the disparity was less than expected. Those booking on mobile devices booked on average 44 days in advance, whilst those on desktop booked 48 days in advance. Rentals booked on mobile had an average duration of 7.3 days whilst desktop 7.5. Bookings by phone unsurprisingly had the longest lead time of 53 days, average duration of 7.1 days.
The data suggest that those booking by phone are willing to book further in advance and perhaps plan trips further ahead, possibly the older generation of car renters. Whilst those more likely to book on mobile have the shortest lead times and more likely to be the younger tech savvy generations. Our under 25 car rental
customers showed the highest proportion of mobile bookings across all source markets.
Average Lead Time (days)
Average Duration (days)