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Rental services in Latvia - with growth potential


The survey, which was conducted at the end of 2023, provides an in-depth insight into the attitude and habits of the Latvian population in relation to the rental of goods, indicates the market potential and the opportunity for companies to develop rental services in Latvia. The survey data provides an opportunity to better understand consumer needs and adjust the offer according to the habits and requirements of different population groups.

The survey commissioned by the association "Zero Waste Latvija" indicates that the majority of Latvian residents positively evaluate the possibilities of renting goods, however, 21.5% of respondents admit that they have difficulty giving an answer about availability. This figure shows the potential for market growth and indicates the need to improve awareness and service availability.

It is interesting that almost half of the respondents have not rented any goods for a fee or free of charge in the last two years. However, there is also a significant part of the population that regularly uses rental options.

Regarding sources of information about rental services, the Internet is the dominant channel. 86.2% of respondents believe that the most convenient way to find out about rental options is directly on the Internet. This conclusion shows the importance of digital tools in consumer behavior and indicates the need for all companies and service providers to adapt to the digital environment.

The data show differences depending on socio-demographic factors. There is also a relationship that - the older the respondents, the less they chose to rent. For example, young respondents are more enthusiastic about rental options, while an older group may show more skepticism. The most goods are rented in the regions of Pieriga, Riga and Vidzeme, the least in Latgale.

The study also reveals that the higher the income, the more people choose to rent things or receive them for free for a while.

"These data immediately make us think about two things: firstly, how to reach older people with information and services and those who currently use less applications or the Internet in general. Probably, it’s necessary to explain more about the benefits of renting. Regarding regions with a smaller population, it should be remembered that by offering rental or library of things services, municipalities have the opportunity to promote the well-being of residents. And we should also think about the delivery options for rental items," says Evija Ozola - Ozoliņa, Zero Waste Latvia IT Project Manager.

The study also reveals that many respondents would choose lease over purchase for various product groups that are rarely used. Most respondents (75.2%) would choose to rent things for organizing events, rather than buy them, if there was an opportunity to rent them at a convenient distance from the location. A little less - 60.8% would rent rather than buy goods necessary for construction and "do-it-yourself" hobbies. Also, the majority of residents would choose to rent a car (58.5%), rent equipment for active recreation (56.9%) and take books temporarily (55.8%) compared to buying them, if there was an opportunity to rent them at a convenient distance from the location. This proves flexibility and willingness to use the possibilities of renting goods depending on the situation and needs.

"The things that Latvian people rent are relatively classic. Thinking "outside the box" is a bit lacking and there is a lot of potential here, because our homes are full of things that we rarely use on a daily basis and could use more and together: travel bags, animal transport and care accessories, various hobby items, etc. Maybe we need to talk about changing our mindset and not needing to own so many things. This would probably also help a part of the population to improve their material condition," says Maija Krastiņa, member of the board of Zero Waste Latvija.

The survey was conducted at the end of 2023 by the survey center SKDS.

In order to promote circularity, the association "Zero Waste Latvija" together with partners - "ZAAO", association "Green Liberty", "CleanR" and "Eco Baltia VIDE" has created a digital platform Lietovelreiz.lv, which aims to prolong the case life and use. The platform gathers information on product repair options, item rental, exchange and other circular services throughout Latvia in one place.

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