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Winter staycations are heating up with seasonal vehicle rentals soaring 126% during the pandemic

Winter staycations are heating up with seasonal vehicle rentals soaring 126% during the pandemic

Demand for winter staycations is at boiling point, with Brits ditching overseas getaways for Blighty-based holidays.

New figures from Volkswagen Financial Services UK’s (VWFS) Rent-a-Car division highlight a whopping 126% increase in rental bookings between December 2020 and December 2021.

New year trips have also seen an increase, with Rent-a-Car bookings doubling (+100%) from January 2020 to January 2021.

Coupled with the semi-conductor shortage limiting the supply of new vehicles to market, many Brits are instead making use of rental vehicles that are either larger or more reliable than their current vehicles.

Recent research from the leading car finance provider also shows that more Brits are staycationing in the UK this winter (13%) as opposed to travelling overseas for a holiday (9%)*.

The data also shows that 24% of respondents are planning a domestic road trip in the next few months, with just one in five people (20%) looking to board a flight to a more exotic destination this spring.

The Volkswagen Financial Services UK data insights team suggest these findings highlight an accelerating trend among UK consumers, with increasing numbers of holidaymakers opting for domestic road trips at a time when overseas travel remains more uncertain than in previous years.

Volkswagen Financial Services Rent-a-Car launched in August 2018 and was designed to make renting a Volkswagen Group vehicle as easy as possible, so whether it’s for a holiday, moving house or keeping a business on the road, an excellent choice of vehicles, options and insurance cover are on offer for customers.

Volkswagen Financial Services UK has seen an astronomical growth in online bookings, too, up by 220% compared to last year, which their data insights team attributes to a combination of positive changes to the booking system, coupled with people increasingly making buying decisions online during the pandemic.

Research also illustrates that Google searches for staycations have been rising steadily over the past two years.

Analysis shows that the number of searches for 'staycation' increased by 83% between 2020 and 2021, whilst the number of searches for 'staycation UK' increased by 173% during the same period**.

Mike Todd, CEO at Volkswagen Financial Services UK, said: “As we all know, the pandemic has had a major impact on almost every aspect of modern life and it certainly appears that many of us are rethinking our attitudes to holidays and domestic tourism. But I think it’s really interesting that our research is able to highlight the vast scale of this new trend, with winter staycations seemingly more popular than ever before. And no matter how quickly international travel gets back to normal, it looks as if domestic tourism will remain a huge part of the UK travel sector.”

For short-term or spontaneous road trips, with Volkswagen Financial Services Rent-a-Car you can choose from a range of Volkswagen, ŠKODA and SEAT cars to rent for a day, weekend or longer. All available cars are less than eight months old, meaning that you will be driving around in the latest models.

For more information on rental vehicles, visit

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