European rental market valued at €33.6 billion

By Murray Pollok17 February 2009

Michel Petitjean, secretary general of the European Rental Association (ERA).

Michel Petitjean, secretary general of the European Rental Association (ERA).

The European equipment rental industry was worth €33.6 billion in 2008, a 2.8% decrease on the previous year, according to new research commissioned by the European Rental Association.

The figure comprises €24.4 billion for rental of equipment without operators and €9.2 billion with operators.

The report - The European Equipment Rental Industry 2008 Report, carried out for ERA by consultant IHS Global Insight - estimates that the industry shrank by 2.8% in 2008 and will shrink by between 0% and 10% in 2009, depending on the country.

"The ERA set out to answer the simple question, ‘How big is the rental market in Europe?' and today we know", said Michel Petitjean, ERA's secretary general, "This achievement gives us a new vision of our industry and demonstrates ERA's unique value to the rental industry both in Europe as well as globally."

Other statistical highlights from the report include:

- In 2006, there were 36400 companies active in rental, of which less than 15000 were rental companies specialising in renting without operators.

- The average fleet age in 2008 was 3.8 years, ranging from 2.9 years for the lowest country to 5.7 years for the highest.

- Non-operated plant rental companies have a total of 22400 depots in Europe.

- The equipment rental industry employed more than 177500 people in 2006, including 117700 in rental without operators and 59800 in rental with operators.

The new estimate is around 40% higher than the €23.5 billion 'best estimate' given by ERA for the year 2007, however that estimated value excluded operated plant. There is close agreement between ERA's original estimate and the Global Insight figure for non-operated equipment.

The European Equipment Rental Industry 2008 Report is the first detailed report on the equipment rental industry at a European level. It contains an analysis over 11 European countries, and includes market size information and key ratios, including four different measures of rental penetration rate. The report also contains forecasts for 2009 per country.

The report contains over 60 pages of statistical information, including: detailed results per country; four types of rental penetration (against equipment sales, equipment population, construction industry, and country population); market forecasts for 2009, average fleet age per country, and top 5 revenue-generating products.

The report, commissioned by ERA is available to ERA members for €300 and to prospective and non-members for €900.

For copies please contact the European Rental Association at Avenue Jules Bordet 142, 1140 Brussels, Belgium or by email on

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