Demand for corporate transport services within the Nairobi Metropolitan region has increased amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Players in the sector have attributed this demand to the government’s directives on the reduced capacity of public transport and corporate sense of employee safety.
Pride Drive, a local corporate car hire company has seen an increase in corporate car hire requests to transport workers from their places of work to their residences and back.
“The response by the government over the prevention of COVID-19 pandemic by enacting domestic measures such as social distancing has suddenly impacted on our business, we have seen 20 percent increase in staff transportation interests by major Kenyan corporates especially for the buses and vans,” said Imtiaz Harunani, Pride Drive General Manager.
All modes of transport are suffering loses due to their limited operability during this time, however, car rental services could be set for a post-coronavirus boom, with industry players anticipating increased demand as commuters turn away from public transport.
“Interest in corporate transport is set to rise as corporates will be looking for alternatives for their staff against packed public transport services in fear of coronavirus spread,” said Mr. Imtiaz.
The industry has on the other hand seen a drop in uptake of luxury vehicles which were mostly hired by foreign business people who intended to stay in the county for few days.
“Upon the government lifting the lockdown and other movement restrictions, we’re anticipating increased demand for car hire of the luxurious cars by people travelling to other counties for work or leisure and also within the Nairobi Metropolitan. But that of airport transfers may take a while to recover,” said Billy Muga, Pride Drive Sales Manager.
In middle to high end estates, where many residents don’t own cars, car hire investors are anticipating increased demand for cars due to their reluctance to use public transport.
“We’re already seeing an increase of 20 percent in inquiries for car hire over the last month. People can still move within the Metropolitan areas especially for a drive or weekend getaway and most will prefer to use a luxurious car,” said Imtiaz.
“Middle-income earners have a perception that hiring a car may even work out cheaper than owning a vehicle for those looking to cut back on costs during and after the crisis,” added Imtiaz.