Advertisement

"The rental revolution has begun. Consumers may never want to buy a new car again"

Great car rental deals may spell the end for car ownership as we know it but that could still be great news for consumers

Opinion: rental revolution

It's an often ignored fact that once the average private motorist has spent thousands buying or leasing his car, they park it up for around 90 per cent of its life. 

Cars are capable of running 24/7. But on a huge number of days, millions of consumers ignore their motors. And on those days or nights they do climb behind the wheel, it’s typically only for an hour or two. Think about it – 12,000 miles annually equates to just 33 miles daily. So during the few minutes or hours per day/night when most people actually need to access cars, why not rent them?

Advertisement - Article continues below

• Opinion: "Spiritual successor to the original VW Beetle? The Citroen C4 Cactus is it"

Last week I was without a car, had few public transport options, so used my mobile phone to search for a recommended rental company. Within seconds, I found one. After five minutes, I’d received an E-mail confirming I’d booked a 1.4-litre five-door hatch, which was ready and waiting for me – at an all-in price (ie car plus basic insurance) of £7 a day. 

The firm that provided me with my bargain of 2014 wanted no credit card details in advance, didn’t push me to buy additional insurance or hit me with mileage limitations. The hired car was nearly new, and spotlessly clean. 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Admittedly, I was in mainland Europe, not Britain, where vehicle hire can be more expensive. But, for example, Enterprise – a car rental giant not noted for piling highest and selling cheapest – charges from £11.99 per day, although adds that “rates of less than £11.99 may be available!”

Advertisement - Article continues below

Opinion: "2014 was a great year for car fans, but 2015 will be even better"

Drive scores of days per annum and your total annual motoring costs could be well under £1,000. It also means that things like tyre wear, servicing, depreciation etc are not your problem. 

Meanwhile, a new scheme by Sixt/DriveNow enables motorists to drive BMWs on a pence per minute/maximum £20-an-hour basis. The more downmarket Zipcar fleet starts at £6 an hour. Not bad, but way too costly compared with the £11.99 per 24 hours/50p per hour rates the likes of Enterprise now offer in Britain several days per week. 

No doubt about it – the rental revolution has begun. The bigger it gets, the greater the economies of scale for car hire companies and, in theory, the lower prices will become for consumers... who may never need or want to own or lease a new car again. 

Is rental the future of the UK motor industry? Let us know what you think on Twitter, on Facebook or in the comments section below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/news/352004/advice-around-what-we-should-do-during-and-after-we-drive-our-cars-less-clear
News

'The advice around what we should do before, during and after we drive our cars is less than clear'

Only essential driving during the Coronavirus lockdown is allowed, but what we need to do before, during and after our journey isn't as clear, says Mi…
5 Apr 2020
Visit/news/351989/its-car-care-week-so-head-outside-and-show-your-motor-little-love
News

‘It’s Car Care Week, so head outside and show your motor a little love’

If you can’t drive your car, editor-in-chief Steve Fowler thinks you should wash it instead. When you're done, send us a pic and we’ll print the best
1 Apr 2020
Visit/news/351950/global-temporary-shutdown-car-factories-could-actually-benefit-manufacturers-and
News

'The temporary shutdown of car factories could benefit manufacturers and customers'

With car factories around the world closing temporarily, it may give manufacturers the chance to clear out the current backlog of unsold new cars, say…
28 Mar 2020
Visit/news/351936/jlrs-very-british-approach-keep-calm-and-carry
News

‘JLR’s very British approach: keep calm and carry on’

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler praises Jaguar Land Rover on both its ability to handle a crisis
26 Mar 2020

Most Popular

Visit/seat/leon/351998/new-seat-leon-2020-review
SEAT Leon

New SEAT Leon 2020 review

The all-new SEAT Leon hatchback impresses with its blend of sporty handling and cutting-edge technology
3 Apr 2020
Visit/hyundai/i20/100001/new-hyundai-i20-n-hot-hatchback
Hyundai i20

New 2021 Hyundai i20 N to rival Ford Fiesta ST with 200bhp

New Hyundai i20 N to join i30 N in brand’s hot hatch line-up and our exclusive images preview how it could look
2 Apr 2020
Visit/news/102580/hyundai-kona-electric-get-increased-range-july
Hyundai Kona electric front
Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric to get increased range from July

UK-delivered Hyundai Kona Electrics will be outfitted with a handful of mechanical revisions, boosting the SUV’s maximum range to 300 miles
18 Mar 2020