The length of the average van hire is increasing rapidly in one of the key industry trends of the credit crunch, according to TLS Vehicle Rental.
TLS reports that more and more customers are viewing rental as a longer-term means of acquiring the vehicle they need.
The general slowing of the economy, the prospect of recession and the effects of a series of financial crises are all accelerating the move towards renting for longer periods of time.
Carl D’Ammassa, chief operating officer at TLS, said: “Tough economic times bring into sharp focus one of the key benefits of renting – there is no long-term financial commitment.
You can hand back the vehicle at any time. With the general loss in economic confidence, this is very attractive to many businesses.
They are unsure what the next few months will bring and so don’t want to sign up to a three-year lease or commit to buying a vehicle at the moment.
“However, they take a look at rental and see that it answers their needs. They get the vehicle they require to get the job done at this moment in time but if the demand for it suddenly disappears, they are not exposed.”
Mr D’Ammassa said TLS had been promoting long-term rental as an alternative to buying or leasing for some time and this was beginning to pay off.
He said: “We have been planting the seed of an idea for a few years now, trying to bring about a shift where anyone with a need for a van automatically considers rental alongside other methods.”