Is the practice of hiring a car increasing in the UK?
The forecasts for global growth of the car hire industry certainly project an increase, as we see more tourist movements, economic growth and growth in airline services, but we need to look closer to home to discover what will influence the demand for rented vehicles at home.
Certainly online search seems to indicate a positive trend so far in 2015. The number of people searching online for car hire declined steadily from a high in 2005 to a low in 2011. Over the next few years the numbers of people searching for car hire in the UK was fairly stable. However 2015 is showing a reversal in trend with a rise in search volumes. (Source Google Trends)
We can compare searches for car hire to car sales and the results are interesting.
While UK car sales searches remained pretty static recently, rental searches declined, however 2015 has seen a small drop in car sales searches and a rise in car hire searches.
What Will Influence Car Hire Growth?
As our roads become ever more overcrowded and we try to reduce costs and pollution we can expect to see an increase in car share and car pool schemes. The cars for these schemes could be rented, so no-one actually needs to own a car and the costs for everyone are reduced. Car hire companies have seen an increase in the rental of economy cars which are cheap to run and have better green credentials. So perhaps the trend moving forward will be for more people to rent and share rather than buy and for smaller greener cars to become more popular.
As technology inevitably advances, expect to see hybrid and electric cars on the car hire fleets, and who knows in many years time, we won’t all own a car, but simply summon a hire car that will drive its self whenever we need to go anywhere. So just maybe, in the future nearly all cars will be hire cars, imagine that!