Ryder Europe, the commercial
vehicle rental company, is to spend £22m (€25m) on upgrading its UK
rental fleet in response to growing demand for heavy goods vehicles
as the economy recovers.

Difficulties in obtaining
capital during the recession meant that many companies delayed
decisions on renewing their vehicle fleets, or reduced the size of
their fleets. Registrations for new commercial vehicles in 2009 and
2010 were lower than usual, which created a shortage in

As the UK economy has recovered,
business activity has increased and companies have begun to refresh
their truck fleets, according to Ryder Europe, which is owned by
Ryder Inc, the US transportation and supply-chain management

About 70% of Ryder’s new 562
vehicle fleet will be HGVs. Ryder funded the investment from its
own balance sheet.

Commercial vehicles sales
director Nigel Martin said: “A lot our customers who put off
decisions for fleet refresh are looking at renting for a couple of
years because they want flexible [vehicle finance] solutions post
recession. People want greener vehicles and are looking to grow the
size of their fleets.”

Martin said he was seeing
growing demand for HGVs in industries ranging from manufacturing
and services, to food distribution and freight.

In its last financial year,
Ryder’s turnover was £158m. In the public sector, Ryder provides
contract hire and rental vehicle services to local authorities,
fire and health authorities and the Ministry of Defence.