Internet top choice for retail van hire -- 60% of drivers head online when they need to hire a van, according to vanrental.co.uk.
A significant majority (59.8%) of retail van hire customers now prefer to book online, rather than telephoning local companies or relying on recommendations, according to a new survey by vanrental.co.uk.
Local firms still retain some pull with retail customers, with 24.4% choosing to use a local firm last time they needed to hire a van, but the power of recommendations appears limited, with just 15.1% reporting that they followed a recommendation from a friend or colleague.
The figures suggest that the increasingly strong online presence of all the major hire companies and the availability of independent van hire price comparison websites such as vanrental.co.uk are attracting customers online -- where they can get instant quotes from several companies, without having to find time to pick up the phone during working hours in order to get a quote.
Vanrental.co.uk founder, Roland Head, says it's simply a question of familiarity and convenience:
"Customers are now used to being able to get instant prices and availability for products and services online. Our independent comparison engine provides prices for up to seven different companies from a single form -- in less than 30 seconds."
"Hiring a van online can also be done at any time of the day or night. Our traffic suggests that a significant number of bookings are made late in the evening -- after the children have been put to bed, perhaps. Unfortunately, almost all van hire offices are closed at this time, making phone quotes impractical."
While van rental may be a regular requirement for business customers, it isn't for retail customers. Of the 2,603 drivers questioned in the vanrental.co.uk survey, only 473 (18.2%) said they had hired a van in the last year.
Overall, moving house was the most common reason for hiring a van, accounting for 57.6% of the respondents' most recent hires while 10.6% needed a big vehicle for a trip to the tip or a major DIY project.
*Survey of 2,603 people in May 2014
VanRental.co.uk is the UK's leading dedicated van hire price comparison site. Featuring more than 1,000 van rental branches in over 400 UK locations, visitors can compare quotes for van hire and minibus hire and see the branch locations on an interactive map.
VanRental.co.uk also provides a van and minibus hire location search service and a wide range of essential information guides on all aspects of hiring, driving and loading vans.
VanRental.co.uk was originally launched as MyLocalVanHire.co.uk in May 2007 and rebranded as VanRental.co.uk in July 2011.
Internet Van hire Price comparison Online