Specialist vehicle rental business AMT has seen demand for its luxury four wheel drive vehicles increase by nearly 40% in recent weeks, despite a relatively mild winter.
Since Christmas, the company experienced a significant uplift in rental enquiries at all seven of its locations across the UK with demand strongest at its Leeds, Manchester Stockport and Edinburgh locations. More than three quarters (76%) of the 4x4 vehicles it owns were rented out in January.
With the prospect of severe weather , motorists prepared for some challenging driving conditions, particularly given the poor state of many roads following the recent floods. The increased grip and traction combined with greater visibility from a higher ride, makes 4x4s an attractive option particularly amongst families and those living in more rural areas.
Andy Crinson, general manager of AMT Vehicle Rental, said: “Our entire fleet acquisition policy is built around customers’ needs which are, obviously, largely dependent on the vagaries of the British climate – in the winter of 2012 when there was prolonged heavy snow, we saw demand for four wheel drive vehicles spike by 150%. As a large proportion of our fleet is specialised, we are able to offer a huge choice of more unusual rental vehicles such as 4x4s and we usually increase our stock of these vehicles by around 30% during the winter months.
Crinson continued: “Off-roaders are becoming an increasingly popular choice for many people, offering the assurance of mobility whatever the conditions, as well as enhanced safety. We have seen this part of our business continue to grow – in the winter of 2014, four wheel drive vehicles accounted for around 27% of our rented vehicles and this has grown to 45% this year. Growth in rental of 4x4s has also been driven by scarcity in the market with production struggling to keep up with demand.”
AMT offers a range of luxury and specialist four wheel drive vehicles including the Range Rover Vogue, Mercedes GL and ML, Audi Q7 and Q5 and the Porsche Cayenne.