Coronavirus: Rental industry faces slow recovery

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

Covid 19 disruptions

The vehicle rental sector has been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic, as business travel all but ground to a halt during lockdown, and the sector’s future faces a number of challenges as it bids to recover.

Rental is often used by fleets seeking to take advantage of the added flexibility of being able to return vehicles when they aren’t needed with no additional costs. Commercial vehicles have been in high demand by some fleets during the pandemic, such as those in the home delivery sector. However, many other fleets were forced to ground their vehicles meaning those ‘on hire’ were returned.

Businesses, meanwhile, have been forced to adapt to new remote working policies and conduct meetings virtually rather than face-to-face, further reducing the need for car hire.

Gary Smith, managing director of Europcar Mobility Group UK, said: “The scale of disruption on the travel and leisure industry caused by Covid-19 is unprecedented for the sector as almost all global destinations have imposed restrictions on travel, followed by complete bans to contain the pandemic with lockdowns in most countries. This led to a fast decline in airline traffic, impacting our leisure business in all markets.”

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