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  • May 27, 2021
  • 3 Minutes

Why have rental vehicles become so popular during lockdown?

Demand for rental vehicles has more than doubled during lockdown, according to new research from our data insights team.

In fact, we’ve seen individual online bookings on our Rent-a-Car platform soar by 121% between Q1 2020 and Q2 2021.

We’ve also seen a 196% increase in corporate bookings on our Rent-a-Car website during the same period, resulting in a 138% rise in the total number of rental cars and vans on the roads compared to a year ago.

We launched VWFS Rent-a-Car in August 2018 and it was designed to make renting a Volkswagen Group vehicle as easy as possible, so whether it’s for your holiday, moving house or keeping your business on the road, we can offer an excellent choice of vehicles, options and insurance cover for all our customers.

Our data insights team suggest the surge in demand for rental vehicles could be driven by several factors, such as online shopping becoming more popular over the past 12 months.

This is because many businesses are now offering home delivery services in light of the pandemic, and need to rent more vehicles to meet rising demand from their customers.

The resurgence of staycations in 2021, coupled with concerns about the safety of public transport, are also believed to have contributed to increased demand for rental vehicles.

Recent research from our data insights team also found that almost half of Brits (47%) say they are likely to drive to a UK holiday destination this summer, whilst 76% of people say COVID-19 has increased the likelihood that they will travel in their own vehicle rather than on public transport.

What do the experts say?

Mike Todd, CEO at VWFS, explained that demand for rental vehicles may rise higher still as more restrictions ease. 

He said: “What’s really interesting for me is that our automotive data can paint such a clear picture of the trends that are unfolding in other industries, whether it be across tourism, retail or the wider transport sector.

“We’ve already seen growth in people renting cars as we went through stage one of lockdown restrictions lifting, and we’re anticipating that we’ll see the full impact of this in Q2 as people can travel around the country more freely and make up for lost time.

“And as people begin to up their business travel, we’re also seeing corporate clients providing rental cars for their employees where before they might have used public transport.”

Looking for a rental vehicle?

There are currently 23 Volkswagen Financial Services Rent-a-Car locations around the UK, based in Volkswagen Group showrooms, with Volkswagen and ŠKODA passenger cars, and Volkswagen vans, available to hire for a day, weekend or longer.

For more information, click here

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