The company said the decision to make vans available from London Heathrow, Luton, Stansted, Birmingham and Newcastle airports was prompted by increased demand from both business and leisure customers as well as by the growth in logistics business centred around airports.

Ken McCall, Europcar’s Uk boss, said: “In the last year we have seen significant growth in van rental by logistics companies. We believe this is largely due to the huge upturn in online and home shopping over the last year or so. But we think it’s also attributable to the fact logistics companies want the flexibility of van rental rather than ownership, so that costs are matched to demand.”

McCall added that easy transport links and extended opening hours made airports convenient for customers.

Europcar claimed it ran the youngest van fleet in the UK with all its vehicles less than 12 months old.