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TLS criticises rivals for setting 'unsustainable' rental rates

Date: 08 January 2010

Van rental giant TLS has hit-out at rivals for setting "completely unsustainable" LCV hire rates in 2009.

The GE-owned LCV daily rental firm predicts 2010 will remain "extremely tough" but would be more orderly than 2009.

Simon Cook, sales director, explained: "2009 was an extremely difficult year. Many of our competitors set rates that were completely unsustainable and the effect was to create a disorderly market that brought benefits to no-one, least of all to the customer.

"However, we saw signs in the last quarter of the year which suggested that period has now come to an end. While rental rates remain exceptionally good value for money, they have hardened to a sustainable point."

He added: "We have seen rates that we are certain did not allow rental companies to meet their minimum obligations in terms of keeping vehicles properly maintained and to replace aged vehicles on the fleet, never mind to create profitability.

"Most of the rental companies which offered those rates have either now disappeared or are finding themselves in extreme financial difficulties. In contrast, we are finding that customers are turning to reputable companies like ourselves in larger numbers.

"These customers have recognised that ultra low rental rates might be attractive to satisfy a short term need but that ultimately a competitive but realistic rate from a responsible supplier is the way forward for both themselves and their rental company."