Fleet News

Smith Self Drive gives TIP a first UK rental foothold

VAN, car and truck rental operator Smith Self Drive has been bought by TIP Europe, part of GE Capital Services, for an undisclosed sum. The deal gives TIP Europe its first foothold in the short term rental sector and UK and European expansion is now expected.

Rotherham-based Smith Self Drive was founded in 1961 by company chairman James Smith, who will continue as a consultant to Smith Self Drive. The company runs a combined van, truck and car fleet of 7,000 vehicles from a UK network of 16 branches. Following the acquisition by Amsterdam-based TIP Trailer Rental, Smith Self Drive managing director Philip Brindle said it was 'business as usual'.

Smith Self Drive will continue to operate under its own name, and while the company has no specific expansion targets, it is bidding to become the largest car, van and truck rental company in the UK. The company has been considering acquisitions since earlier this year (Fleet News February 23) when it said it would be seeking a Stock Market flotation at an unspecified date.

TIP Europe is engaged in the rental, lease, sale and servicing of semi-trailers and other transportation equipment in the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Spain.

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