The European Rental Association (ERA) is estimating an overall decrease of 10.4% in rental revenues in 2020 - caused by the Covid-19 pandemic - followed by a forecast rebound of 4.8% in 2021.

The ERA’s newly published Market Report 2020 also provides the latest data on how the rental market performed in 2019, with an estimated growth of 4.1% for the 15 countries covered, equating to €27.7 billion. All 15 grew last year, the second year running that has been the case.

The impact of the pandemic differed from one region to another, according to the report, with Nordic countries, which did not lockdown and had almost no site shutdowns, performing differently to southern Europe and the UK, which faced severe lockdowns and disruptions to activity. The UK has been further impacted by the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations.

Europe map plain

All 15 rental markets analysed grew for the second year running

The ERA emphasised that the conditions in 2020 have been extreme, affecting the 2021 forecasts. It said large reductions are expected this year, but significant rises are expected in the short-term, and the medium- to long-term.

The estimates and forecasts are based on assumptions made at the end of September, such as no further lockdowns across Europe, apart from local and temporary restrictions. The forecasts do not factor in the development of a vaccine.

For 2019, although growth was recorded in every country, some markets were slowing down – namely France, Belgium and Sweden – while others were reporting robust growth, in particular, Germany, Poland and Italy.

The 15 countries generated a total rental turnover of more than €27.7 billion in the countries analysed. This accounts for more than 95% of the EU-28, EFTA countries and UK’s total rental turnover.

Developed with support from the ERA Statistics Committee, this year’s report, comprising market trends and international comparisons, uses a common methodology and definition to analyse 15 European markets, with detailed market size results for 2017-18 (actual), 2019-20 (estimates) and 2021-22 (forecasts).

It contains detailed market information for the years 2016 to 2022 and key indicators, such as rental turnover, fleet value and investments.

The release of national statistics varies across the region and this year there are only two countries, Germany and Austria, for which 2018 Eurostat data is available. For all the other countries, only 2017 figures are available. Therefore, for those, the 2018 and 2019 figures were based on forecast drivers only.

The report is available digitally from the ERA by contacting era@erarental.org.

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