UK rental industry to see steady growth

By Sarah Ann McCay25 June 2013

The UK’s construction equipment rental market was estimated to be worth £3.6 billion in 2012, according to a recent report issued by market research firm AMA Research.

The Construction Equipment Rental Market Report – UK 2013-2017 Analysis pointed to marginal growth in 2012 over 2011 figures, which AMA based, in part, on the opportunities generated by the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“The UK construction equipment rental market is estimated to be worth some £3.6 billion in 2012, down around 22% on its peak value of £4.7 billion in 2007", said AMA.

The report forecasts a modest decline this year followed by steady growth up to 2017, with revenues forecast to reach around £3.9 billion by 2017.

"Since 2010, the hire market has remained reasonably buoyant despite the construction downturn, as many contractors look to hire rather than commit capital spending to equipment, and medium term prospects suggest further steady growth in 2013-15”, said the research organisation.

The report estimates that earthmoving equipment represents the largest equipment sector, accounting for around 23% of hire value. Other key sectors include lifting at an estimated 15% share, access equipment, skips and rubbish chutes, portable buildings, environmental control, and hand and power tools.

AMA highlighted key factors underpinning long-term market growth to be health and safety issues, environmental and energy efficiency legislation, as well as significant utility and infrastructure projects such as Crossrail.

Housebuilding is also forecast to provide opportunities as the sector grows to 2017. Regional growth opportunities are likely to continue to drive certain rental sectors, e.g. new road construction, coastal defence work and wind turbines, etc.

AMA Research also identified trends within the construction industry that are likely to have a negative impact on the hire market, including the growth in off-site manufacturing and the switch back in favour of houses rather than apartments.

The hire market has remained reasonably buoyant despite the construction downturn, as many contractors look to hire rather than commit capital spending to equipment, and AMA Research predicts further steady growth in 2013-15.

The report is available in hard copy or electronic format for £675.

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