Auto Europe, a provider of international car rental services, has released a study reviewing the results of the first half of 2016 (Jan. 1 through June 20) and trends for the rest of the year.
Based on Auto Europe’s data on car rentals picked up in Europe by U.S. residents, the top 10 European rental car pickup cities had some shifts since the first half of 2015.
One of the most notable changes was Lisbon, which jumped 11 positions to make the top 10 list. Dublin also went up three spots to claim the No. 1 spot for pickup cities in 2016, according to the report.
When looking at the popular pickup countries for U.S. travelers, Italy continues to be the most popular European pickup location — accounting for 23.5% of all U.S. bookings made in the first half of 2016, according to the report. France and Great Britain take second and third for most popular pickup countries — accounting for just over 17% and almost 10%, respectively.
For rental car pickup locations, U.S. and Canadian travelers preferred the pickup location to be at airports (68%), downtown (19%), and then rail (13%), according to the report.
When choosing a vehicle, more U.S. and Canadian travelers preferred to rent a manual transmission vehicle (68%) over an automatic transmission vehicle (32%), according to the report.
"This year Dublin has really jumped in popularity as a rental destination for U.S. citizens," said Scott Braun, Auto Europe’s chief marketing officer. "Additionally, we continue to see that while manual transmission vehicles are the default rental car offering in Europe, a substantial number of North Americans are requesting automatics. To meet this need, we always make special arrangements with our suppliers to set aside automatic vehicles so that we are uniquely positioned to be able to deliver what our customers demand."
As part of the report, Auto Europe also looked travel trends for the second half of 2016, including the most popular pickup destinations based on advanced bookings by U.S. and Canadian residents compared to last year.
Rome will continue to be the most popular pickup destination for the second half of the year as it was last year at this time, according to the report. One difference between the forecast for this year compared to last year is Dublin increased in popularity, pushing Paris down to the third most popular ranking.
In terms of duration of rental, travelers scheduled to pick up their vehicles during the second half of this year have extended their trips slightly in four of the top five pickup cities. Travelers to London were the only ones to reduce their travel.
Click here for the full Auto Europe report.