Rental growth across Europe

By Thomas Allen23 October 2019

In its newly published 2019 Market Report, the European Rental Association has found that the equipment rental market has experienced growth in all 15 countries included within the research.

As a whole, the European equipment rental industry in 2018 saw growth of 4.4%. The estimated growth for 2019 shows a 3.8% increase, and an increase of 3.2% is forecast for 2020, all at a constant exchange rate.

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The report also suggests that rental penetration has increased because the equipment rental industry is growing more quickly than GDP and the construction industry.

According to the report, equipment rental companies and other companies providing rental services in the EU-28 and EFTA countries generated a total rental turnover of more than €26 billion in 2018.

The rental industry of the 15 countries under investigation accounted for more than 95% of the EU-28 and EFTA countries’ total rental turnover, with the three main markets – the UK, Germany and France – accounting for 60% of the total.

Compared with the 2018 report, rental turnover has been adjusted for some of the countries. In France and Spain, the figures have been reduced by approximately 10%, while the figures have been lifted by about 10% in Switzerland due to the use of the latest official statistics.

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The industry has registered growth despite challenging economic circumstances, and the confidence of equipment rental companies was reflected in higher investment levels in 2018, which grew by 3.1% year on year.

As well as Europe-wide investment in fleet expansion and renewal, drivers for growth include an increasing recognition of the role of rental in ensuring sustainability and minimising environmental impact.

The ERA suggests that companies can improve their sustainability by choosing to rent equipment rather than purchasing outright. The report notes that a recent report from The European Environment Agency also cites how European companies are increasingly adopting circular business models, reflecting the positive growth of the equipment rental industry.

Michel Petitjean, Secretary General of the ERA, said, “The 2019 Market Report shows encouraging growth across Europe. A key driver being the increasing pressure on the industry to improve their CSR credentials, with the sustainability benefits of equipment rental being realised across industries.”

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