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Brits’ favourite hire car choices

Ready to hit the road again? We share our insights into the makes and models selected by our users, so you won’t get confused between your ‘Compact’ vs. ‘Mini’ or your ‘Standard’ vs. ‘Full-size’. We clear up these differences and reveal the top 10 most popular car categories on KAYAK.co.uk. That way, you can better search and plan for your next sweet ride.


Brits like to balance comfort vs. cost when it comes to their choice of ride. Unsurprisingly, good old ‘Economy’ makes up 28% of car categories searched on KAYAK.co.uk. Brits also like to keep things small, with Mini and Compact coming in at the most popular spots after Economy. Though it seems some Brits do like to feel the wind in their hair à la Bridget Jones, with around 3% looking for a ‘Convertible’.

Our research also revealed the brand preferences of our UK users, with Ford coming out on top as the brand most likely to be hired in 4 of the top 10 car categories. In the most popular category – Economy – Brits are most likely to get behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Polo, followed by a Ford Fiesta. In the second most popular ‘Mini’ category, the Fiat 500 wins out over the Chevrolet Spark.

Our Hacks for Hiring a Car

It’s always tempting to put cost before comfort when hiring a car, but this can lead to disagreements between spouses, children arguing in back seats and a myriad of other unintended consequences. To avoid this, our nerds at KAYAK.co.uk have added a variety filters to help you find the ride that suits your travel needs.

Some handy tips:

  • Mini, Compact and Economy cars are – you guessed it – the smallest available. They’re usually 2-4 door and don’t have much room in the back seat. This is okay for a couple of days in the city with one or two people, but not ideal for longer trips or off-roading. Let’s be clear: this is not the type of car that you should attempt an off-road crossing of the North York Moors with.
  • If you have a lot of passengers or luggage along for the ride and a snug & sweaty trip in the back seat isn’t so appealing, ‘Standard’ or ‘Intermediate’ cars are roomier and more likely to keep friendships intact.
  • Keep in mind that Standard can include 2-door models. So families on a road trip should aim for at least a Full-size car. This isn’t a huge car, but will almost always have 4 doors, and more space in the boot. To fit the whole family and to minimise the likelihood of someone having to pull the car over so that other passengers can walk, a Van is your best bet.
  • ‘Premium’ cars have more seat and leg room, so are great for longer road trips. For a roomier ride with less stop and more go, an upgrade to ‘Luxury’ is the answer. A Porsche Panamera or BMW 5- or 7-series can be found in the ‘Special’ category filter.
  • If you’re heading off the beaten track, select an SUV, which is perfect for an off-road adventure. But please, tell someone where you’re going.


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