Less than one in five travel agents offers car rental to clients, a Holiday Autos survey shows.

The company phoned 100 independent, miniple and multiple agents requesting a flight to a number of destinations. In all, only 19% of agents offered car rental without prompting. Of these, 27% were asked about a flight to a mainstream destination such as Spain, the Canaries, Greece and the US.

Only 5% of agents who were asked for a flight to an emerging destination, such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Israel and the Caribbean, suggested the caller hire a car.

When prompted, 89% of travel agents asked about a flight to a mainstream destination said they would recommend self-drive, while 5% did not recommend it and 6% were unsure.

Only 55% of agents recommended self-drive in an emerging destination.

Holiday Autos said the survey showed that despite the heavy investment in training, agents are still not maximising car-rental sales opportunities particularly in the case of less-familiar destinations.