Europcar Van & Truck has seen a significant increase in demand for its fleet, which drove a 72% year-on-year increase in the number of vehicle rental days last year.
With the average length of rental hire also increasing by 50% year on year, much of the growth came from the logistics and online retail sectors as businesses strove to meet the need for home deliveries.
Stuart Russell, LCV sales director at Europcar Van & Truck, said: “Almost every type of UK business had to adapt quickly last year with the demand for home deliveries going through the roof. And Europcar played a fundamental role in helping to keep the UK economy moving, providing vital infrastructure for the logistics sector in particular.
“Through strong relationships with manufacturers we were able to mobilise large numbers of vehicles in the space of less than two months at the start of the pandemic and the first Lockdown. As a result we were able to provide more businesses with the vehicles they needed – often quickly and at short notice.
“Now, as the UK’s families and businesses face the challenges of another lockdown, we continue to offer companies timely access to LCVs with less long-term financial commitment than traditional leasing agreements or outright purchase.”
Europcar’s range of new or nearly new light commercial vehicles comply with clean air zones and are supported by delivery and collection and a verified hygiene safety service.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show online sales grew by 46.1% last year, driving significant demand for home delivery services.
ParcelHero’s head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, said: “The ONS retail figures for December show that the volume of goods bought last month was up just 0.3% on November, unimpressive considering stores were reopened following lockdown in November.
“Once again, however, home deliveries helped save the day. E-commerce gained 29.6% of all retail sales for the month. Online sales were up an eye-popping 61.4% compared to December 2019 with online food up 126.4% YOY. Brits largely feasted on turkey and trimmings bought online this Christmas.
“The surge in online food sales in December simply reflects a year-long trend. With their online sales up by 79.3%, food stores reported the largest sector increase for the entire year.”