Best-selling rental cars in Australia revealed

More Toyota HiLux utes joined rental fleets than any other new vehicle – but when the sales charts are sorted by models with the highest share of sales going to rental-car companies, there are some unusual top finishers.

Japanese car giant Toyota – and Chinese automaker MG – dominated the list of the top-selling new vehicles to rental-car fleets in Australia last year.

However, when sorted by vehicles with the highest share of total sales that went to rental-car companies, the chart-topper is a $70,000 European SUV quicker than a V8 Holden Commodore or Ford Falcon.

While it lost its seven-year position as Australia’s top-selling new vehicle overall, the Toyota HiLux remained the most popular model with rental fleets in 2023, with 5297 sales – or 8.7 per cent of total HiLux sales.

It was followed by the Toyota Corolla with 4600 sales, or 23 per cent of total deliveries. Its second-place finish in the rental-car sales rankings is up from 12th position overall.

A trio of Chinese-made MGs rounded out the Top 5: the ZS small SUV range (3916 rental sales, 13.4 per cent of total), HS mid-size SUV (2412 rental sales, 29.7 per cent of total) and MG 3 city hatch (2396 rental sales, 15.5 per cent of total).

The best-selling vehicle overall last year – the Ford Ranger ute – finished 10th in the rental-car sales rankings, as its 1783 rental sales represented just 2.8 per cent of its total deliveries in Australia last year.

However when the tables are turned – and the list is sorted by vehicles with rental fleets accounting for the highest share of total sales – the Japanese and Chinese top finishers fall down the order.

While 328 Cupra Atecas were reported as sold in Australia last year, 186 – or 56.7 per cent – went to rental fleets, and only 88 (or 26.8 per cent) were purchased by private buyers.

The Ateca and other Cupra models – including the Formentor (21.2 per cent rental sales share) – are available through Europcar.

Five of the 10 vehicles on the top rental-car sales share ranking are French – including the Renault Koleos, which finished second with 1396 rental sales, or 50.3 per cent of its 2776 total deliveries.

It was followed by the Skoda Scala small hatch – with 415 rental sales, or 43.8 per cent of its 948 total deliveries – and the BMW 5 Series (217 rental sales, or 42.8 per cent of its 507 total deliveries).

The vehicle with the largest difference between its position on the overall new-car sales charts, and the rental-car sales list – when sorted by share of total deliveries – was the Peugeot 508.

It placed 286th overall – out of 386 models listed in Australian new-car sales results – with 156 deliveries, but as 34 per cent (or 53 examples) went to rental fleets, it occupies sixth position on the rental-car sales charts when sorted by share, up 280 places.

While the data collated and provided by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries lists zero sales of Tesla Model Y and BYD Atto 3 electric vehicles to rental fleets in 2023, they are available to hire from companies such as Sixt and Europcar. Drive has contacted the FCAI for verification.

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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