Flexible rental has helped businesses to rapidly adjust their fleets during both the Covid-19 lockdown and its aftermath, according to Enterprise.

The hire company says its Flex-E-Rent service helped customers such as Glasgow’s City Technical Services, which saw the pandemic cause an immediate downturn of business, with up to 80% of its 150-strong van fleet left sitting idle.

Flex-E-Rent allowed the firm to cut costs by scaling back its fleet commitments in May and June, then expand the fleet again as demand returned once lockdown measures were lifted.

City Technical Services managing director Kenny Henderson said: “The pandemic drastically affected our business, but Enterprise’s flexibility made a huge difference. 

“By downscaling our commitment at first and then increasing it again, paying only for what we need, we’ve been able to match our costs to our customers.”

Another firm to benefit from Flex-E-Rent was roofing contractor Avonside Group, which urgently needed to reduce its fleet when the majority of its new housing sites were temporarily closed for lockdown.

Enterprise allowed Avonside to defleet almost all of its flexible rental vehicles rapidly, without incurring additional charges, and is now working with the company to grow its fleet again.

Avonside group commercial director Simon Smith said: “Enterprise’s flexibility helped us to continue trading in a very difficult period and keep cash in the business. 

“We’re now growing the fleet again and are sticking with flexible rental, because we know first-hand that it’s a solution that doesn’t force us to invest in expensive assets.”

Another Enterprise customer, delivery firm Hermes UK, had different requirements in lockdown, with demand for home deliveries running at more than double the usual seasonal levels and surpassing even the Christmas rush.

It therefore used Flex-E-Rent to swiftly supply additional delivery vehicles.

Hermes head of fleet Mervyn McIntyre said: “Enterprise’s flexible rental enabled us to meet a wave of demand that appeared almost overnight and is still ongoing. 

“We’ve brought new vehicles into the fleet without a massive capital investment and have the security of knowing we can just hand them back if demand slows down.”

Enterprise Flex-E-Rent managing director Danny Glynn said: “Rental meant that businesses that were hit by the pandemic could adjust their vehicle fleets quickly to match changes in demand. 

“Some had to contract the number of vehicles in the short term. Others are seeing demand skyrocket and need extra vans or trucks in a hurry.

“Flexible rental is fast becoming a preferred choice because it allows organisations to scale up or down to meet customer demand at a moment’s notice, without incurring penalties. In a world still filled with considerable uncertainty, flexibility is more important than ever.”