Car rental companies say interest has risen across the UK as commuters desperately look for alternatives to packed public services as coronavirus fears continue. Experts at Stress Free Car Rental told Express.co.uk the firm had already seen a 60 percent increase in hire car interest over the past seven days.
Specialists have reassured motorists that firms have increased their cleaning processes and have promised to limit contact at all times.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, John Charnock, Managing Director at Stress Free Car Rental revealed a rise in interest was predicted across major cities.
He said: “We’re anticipating increased demand for car hire in the UK domestic market but that foreign markets will take at least a year to recover.
“Car rental companies have all increased their car cleaning and sterilisation processes and have implemented measures to limit contact at the collection desks.
He said: “If used infrequently, the cost of hiring a car as and when needed can work out much cheaper than owning one.
“Especially when you factor in depreciation, and parking costs in major cities.”
Some car rental agreements also come with insurance already in place meaning motorists would not not need to worry about expensive monthly charges.
Many car hire companies can even deliver a car to your home address which minimises the risk of coming into contact with others.
Car rental firms have not closed under lockdown as they have been considered an essential service.
Firms are operating at a reduced capacity with the British Vehicle and Leasing Association (BVRLA) conforming key workers can still receive vehicles.
BVRLA chief Gerry Keaney has said rental firms will focus on its “most important customers” as many key workers opt for a vehicle as an alternative method to get to work.
Many rental firms have already confirmed higher cleaning standards have been put into place amid the pandemic.
Some rental companies have also confirmed measures are in place to immediately isolate or quarantine a car if needed.
However, other experts feel consumers will be “nervous” about using rental cars where many motorists have been using the car.
Tom Leathes, spokesman for Motorway.co.uk says some motorists might opt to instead buy a cheaper car than take the risk with a rental vehicle.
He told Express.co.uk: “Consumers will be nervous about using vehicles where multiple drivers and passengers are in and out of the car, which is the case in rental vehicles.
“People that, pre-coronavirus, used rental cars for sporadic journeys might opt instead to buy a cheaper used car that they know is used by them only.
“If rental companies are going to get consumers comfortable, they will need to put in place and clearly communicate rock-solid sanitation, social distancing and safety policies that reassure customers it’s safe.”
Published at Wed, 27 May 2020 13:34:00 +0000