Manufacturer interest in the daily rental sector is slowly returning following a long period in which many major players had reduced their presence.
Motor industry consultancy Network Automotive said it expects to see activity increase in early 2010.
Managing director Colin Bruder said: “There are a number of factors at play here. Many major manufacturers have been pulling back from rental in recent years to improve residual values and increase margins by reducing promotional funding. However, there are now factors pulling them back in.
“One of these is simply that daily rental companies are starting to buy cars again, not in major quantities but enough that they are a key outlet for new vehicle sales at a point in time when new vehicle sales are tough to achieve.
He added: “Another important point is that ex-daily rental sales have been a key source of nearly new stock for franchise dealers. This kind of stock is now very difficult to find, and fast cycling cars through rental fleets makes some sense.”