European rental investment levels rebound slowly

By Murray Pollok19 October 2010

European rental companies plan to slowly increase their investment in equipment fleets over the next few years, although not to the peak levels of 2006 and 2007, according to the recent ERA/IRN RentalTracker survey for the third quarter of 2010.

The third quarter RentalTracker survey included detailed questions about rental company investment plans, and the results reveal that European companies will:

• Invest 9.8% of the value of their fleets (at original cost) in 2010

• Increase that spending to 12.8% in 2011

• Further increase spending in 2012 to 13.8%

The investment figures show that the expected rebound in fleet investment has already started. The 9.8% figure for investment this year compares with the 7% figure for Europe in 2009 estimated in the European Rental Association's 2009 Rental Industry Report.

However, even if fleet investment levels are growing they will still remain below the peak levels of investment in the years 2005-7, when companies were typically spending each year between 15% and 20% of the total value of their fleet (at original cost).

The results also reveal whether investment is for replacement or expansion. As would be expected, the vast majority of investment in 2010 is fleet replacement, with expansion spending only starting to play a significant role in 2012.

The full results, including a country-by-country breakdown for the larger European markets, will be published in the November-December issue of International Rental News (IRN).

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