Rental companies are experiencing a surge in demand for vans from businesses that are crucial to preventing the spread of coronavirus.
Pharmacies, couriers and cleaning firms are among those organisations that need to rapidly upscale the number of vehicles they operate in order to meet increasing demand from customers.
David Brennan, CEO of Nexus Vehicle Rental, said: "We are facing continued economic uncertainty as the spread of the COVID-19 is presenting unprecedented challenges for businesses and communities up and down the country, highlighting the need for businesses to remain flexible, agile and adaptable.
"We understand this rapidly evolving situation is putting greater pressure on businesses and authorities to ensure operations run smoothly. Retailers, logistics companies, utilities businesses, local authorities and emergency services are experiencing an urgent need for access to on-demand mobility supply networks to serve distributed workforces, communities and consumers in remote locations."
For organisations that need to scale-up their fleets quickly whilst mitigating cost, short term rental is a viable solution. It is also helped rental companies to plug the gaps from lower demand for car hire as businesses and the public cut back on travel.
Rod Lloyd, managing director of commercial vehicle hire firm Low Cost Vans, said: “These are unprecedented times for the UK economy but the fact is that many businesses have to keep moving. From certain sectors, the number of inquiries we are getting has doubled or even tripled. Cleaning companies, couriers and pharmacies are inundated with additional work.
“Speaking to these customers, they are telling us that their main objective is helping the UK through some tough months ahead. But they are often struggling to get supplies and personnel in the right places at the right times to make a difference. For many of them, we have been able to get extra vehicles in place quickly and efficiently, which will also hopefully make a positive difference."
Low Cost Vans has introduced a number of measures to help businesses, including additional discounts on certain vehicles, waiving admin fees associated with finance deals and always aiming to work towards achieving similar monthly payments as currently being paid by customers acquiring a similar vehicle.
The vehicle rental sector is expected to play a vital role in maintaining the essential movement of goods and services during the COVID-19 virus outbreak, according to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).
As the government considers the next stage of its response to the crisis, the association has pointed to transport and business restrictions introduced in a number of EU states, where vehicle rental branches have been excluded due to their key role in delivering essential mobility services.
“As the government considers the measures it might take to limit the impact of COVID-19, it is vital that it appreciates the role that will be played by rental vehicles in maintaining the essential movement of people, goods and services,” said BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney.