Bridging The Supply Gap: Long-Term Rental Can Offer A Flexible And Agile Option

Business Insights
28/07/2021 15:22:00

Debbie Wallace, Head of SME at Europcar Mobility Group UK looks at the benefits of flexible rental solutions when it comes to dealing with the current delays in new vehicle supply.

At a time when many businesses have seen an uptick in workload due to increased customer demand following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, it seems that the availability of everything from building materials through to new vehicles is down, due to supply issues.

Car manufacturers, in particular, have been affected from all sides. Factory closures during the pandemic, a factory fire in Japan and extreme winter weather conditions in Texas earlier this year have all led to a shortage of semi-conductor chips. The upshot is that they have been unable to produce enough new vehicles to meet a suddenly ramped up demand.

As a consequence, prices of second-hand vehicles have increased dramatically. According to BCA the average sold value of second-hand light commercial vehicles is up 57% year on year[i] - putting an additional financial burden on businesses already challenged by the effects of the pandemic.

While recent SMMT figures show that production levels of new commercial vehicles[ii], are on the increase it will take time for these to filter down to the showrooms. In the meantime businesses need to look at alternative ways to meet their extra vehicle needs.

Because of the interruptions and delays to the supply of new vehicles, companies who own or lease their vehicles only have two options - extending leasing agreements or in the case of ownership not replacing older vehicles. Yet both can be costly and have implications for driver safety.

One option to bridging the supply gap is long-term rental which offers a flexible and cost-effective solution that supports businesses with their ongoing plans and ensures that they have the vehicles they need when, where and for as long as required. Whilst the outright purchase of vans and commercial vehicles is proving challenging, working with a trusted and experienced rental supplier can offer businesses easy access to new or nearly new vehicles with no deposit or early termination fees.

Flexible usership

The uncertainty of the last year has put huge stresses on businesses but the key to success is the ability to remain agile, to grasp opportunities as and when they arise. For organisations that rely on their commercial vehicles and company cars to drive their business forward, flexible ‘usership’ can give them the edge in uncertain times.

Europcar has one of the youngest fleets in the industry and through our strong relationships with car manufacturers we have been able to keep a good supply of new, technologically up-to-date vehicles coming on fleet. With service and maintenance included it means organisations can have peace of mind and concentrate on the day-to-day running of their business.

For more information on how Europcar can help you with your vehicle planning, click here or call the team on 0371 384 0140.