How it can help you cope with the Christmas peak

There could be more van deliveries this Christmas than ever before. Online sales are soaring (up  17% on last year) and the total number of parcels to be delivered in the UK in 2015 looks set to hit 860 million  - around a fifth more than last year.

At the same time, the number of vans on the UK roads has grown with the increasing demand for deliveries. The number of light commercial vehicles has risen by an incredible 17% in one year. There are now 3.5 million vans registered in the UK – that’s more than double the total of 20 years ago.

Starting on Black Friday (November 27) and lasting until the January sales, the British Christmas holiday period now signals the peak of the year’s online buying with a corresponding increase in the demand for van deliveries.

In previous years, many businesses have struggled to cope with demand as the surge in sales overwhelmed their normal delivery fleet. As recently as last year some courier companies went into meltdown in the face of an unprecedented surge in business due to Black Friday.

And that’s why this period is also a boom time for van hire as a company’s standing fleet simply may not be sufficient for the Christmas peak.

Some vehicle rental companies are ramping up their efforts to provide competitive prices and vehicles for those who need to add to their fleet over the festive period.

Vehicle rental company, Enterprise for example, has introduced a flexible rental system to help UK businesses deal with short-term spikes in delivery requirements. The Flex-e-rent scheme means you can hire a van for an indefinite period. There’s no commitment or contract period regarding the return of the vehicle so you can utilise it for as long as the busy period lasts – then return it to Enterprise.

Customers are able to set up accounts and increase their delivery fleet at short notice. “Why tie up capital in non-core, depreciating assets and use up employee time on vehicle maintenance and admin when you could let us run your fleet? Leaving you free to run your business,” say Enterprise.

Find out more about fleets struggling with vehicle hire.