NZ rental cars riddle: Which vehicle is tops?
The Toyota Corolla is New Zealand’s biggest-selling passenger car – but is it our most popular car?
That all depends if rentals are factored into the equation.
Latest statistics show that the Corolla and its Toyota stablemate the RAV4 are battling it out for top spot on the sales table – at the end of July the Corolla held a narrow lead with 2598 registrations, just ahead of the RAV4 which had achieved 2260 registrations.
But figures supplied by the Motor Industry Association show that 27 per cent of the Corollas and 48.5 per cent of the RAV4s sold so far this year have gone to rental car companies. If the rental car business is removed from the equation, then it’s the Kia Sportage that is actually New Zealand’s most popular passenger vehicle.
It all shows just how important the rental industry is to New Zealand’s new vehicle market. And the business is growing, too – in 2014 there were 13,263 passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles registered as rentals, a year later this had grown to 17,038, in 2017 the number jumped again to 19,606.
The first seven months of 2017 have seen a total of 6382 vehicles registered as rentals, which could indicate a big drop in rental sales for the year. But October and November are traditionally boom times for rental vehicle registrations as the industry gears up for the summer tourism season, so we can expect the total for the year to be at least the equal of 2016.
MIA statistics show that Toyota totally dominates the rental vehicle scene.
Last year the brand had the top four rental vehicles, registering 3166 Corollas as rentals (50.4 per cent of all Corollas sold), followed by the RAV4 with 1593 registrations (44.1 per cent), Highlander with 1049 registrations (52.7 per cent), and the Yaris with 795 registrations (33.4 per cent).
Toyota also topped the list of registrations of light commercial vehicles as rentals in 2016. That honour went to the Hiace van, with 526 of them going to rental companies.
MIA figures to end of July this year show the RAV4 has taken over top spot with 1097 registrations as rentals, which is 48.5 per cent of all RAV4s registered. Corolla is second on 707 registrations and Highlander third on 457, followed by a couple of soon-to-disappear Holdens – the Captiva (273) and the Commodore (252).
And the top light commercial vehicle is the biggest-selling vehicle of all in New Zealand this year – the Ford Ranger ute. So far this year 5631 of these utes have been sold, 208 of them as rentals. That rental figure represents just 3.69 per cent of all Rangers registered to the end of July.
All this means is that so far in 2016 it is the Corolla that is New Zealand’s biggest-selling passenger vehicle, but it is the RAV4 that is the biggest-selling rental passenger vehicle, and if the rental business is removed it is the Kia Sportage that is the most popular passenger car.
And biggest selling vehicle, fullstop? It’s the Ranger ute, which is selling at a rate more than double those passenger cars.
Which is tops in the rental riddle – is it the Toyota Corolla?
Or is it the Toyota RAV4?