The UK accounts for around one-third of Europe's £30bn equipment hire industry, according to a survey carried out by the European Rental Association (ERA). And of that £30bn, (which refers to 2008), £21.9bn was for self-drive machines.
The report is the first to cover equipment rental at a European level and studied market activities in 11 countries (which totalled £28.5bn) and includes market size information and key ratios such as four types of penetration rates for each country. However, it found that the European rental market shrank by 2.8% in 2008 compared with 2007, and predicts further decreases in almost all countries for 2009.
It has determined that in 2006 there were 36,400 rental companies throughout Europe, of which less than 15,000 were non-operated, but that the self-drive firms had some 22,400 depots. Employment in the industry was put at 177,500 people in 2006 117,700 of whom were in the self-drive sector and 59,800 in operated rental.