Having use of a vehicle for deliveries or mobile services could be key for the future success of many SMEs, according to rental company Avis.

The firm carried out a study of 750 SMEs, which found that 25% of them had introduced a delivery or mobile service during lockdown.

This includes 42% of beauty salons, 39% of hotels, 37% of restaurants, 34% of retailers, 26% of healthcare providers and 25% of entertainment businesses.

Of those businesses that adopted such services, 49% intend to keep them going even as restrictions are lifted.

SMEs that previously offered such services are now looking at their commercial fleets, with 37% considering investing in new vehicles, including through rental.

Avis Budget Group managing director for the UK and Scandinavia Nina Bell said: “As lockdown restrictions ease across the UK, smaller businesses are now reassessing how they operate with many choosing to sustain new services trialled during the pandemic. 

“Consequently, we are seeing the rise of convenience as more of us become accustomed to a more personalised at-home offering.

“The flexibility rental provides, compliments the challenges SMEs face, allowing business owners to shift and shape their fleet in line with business demand. 

“Rental, whether short, mid or long term provides the ideal mobility solution for those looking for commercial vehicles without the ties of lengthy contractual terms, large upfront payments or maintenance fees.”