I THINK sometimes car rental gets put in its ‘holiday only’ car rental pigeon hole by many owners of SME firms.
And yet car rental can be a valuable tool in keep your business mobile, enabling your staff to meet customers, and perhaps more importantly, keeping overheads down.
Because the one thing that car rental is good for is cash flow – there are no overheads of a company car; no monthly car lease rentals to be paid; just a car when you need it.
I recently met up with the MD of Europcar UK Group, Gary Smith, and I asked him to list five reasons for an SME to think car rental. Now, clearly, this list has a Europcar bias, but the basis of what Gary says is absolutely right.
And worth investigating by any SME. Because car rental can mean more to you and your business than just a holiday rental.
Five reasons why an SME should use rental
- Guaranteed best rate for SMEs. Providing smaller businesses with the ability to get the best rate on the day – without having to shop around – we introduced the ‘Best for Business’ service in 2016. If our SME rate is higher than our best leisure rate, the customer can choose that instead.
- The youngest – and the right mix – car fleet. The vehicle mix is precisely designed to address small fleet needs. On average cars are under five months old, with fewer than 10,000 miles on the clock at time they depart the working Europcar fleet. Working in partnership with key manufacturers, Europcar offers the newest models, featuring the latest safety and green technologies, delivering lower fuel costs for customers as a result of more efficient engines.
- Cars that are ‘Business Ready’. Business drivers using a hire car want to stay connected. Our ‘Business Ready’ vehicle group guarantees diesel vehicles with Bluetooth and Sat Nav and 99% of our compact vehicle group is fitted with Bluetooth. Investment in an innovative device to secure an SD card in selected vehicles also eliminates installation time. Customers pay a small £4-£5 premium for a Business Ready model.
- europcar.biz. Secure, real-time online rental reservation and management can be tailored to apply the business travel policies of each organisation, enabling reservations to be placed and amended quickly from anywhere in the UK, 24/7. Multiple bookers can manage reservations; ‘Quick Links’ provide one-click to key areas of functionality, dynamic search capability in the live reservation and rental reports; and ‘tailored workflows’ enable the application and management of travel policies.
- Europcar ‘Advantage’. A genuine alternative to car leasing, ‘Advantage’ gives users the choice of make and model for vehicles for three or six months. All vehicles are new, eliminating servicing or MOT and the ‘Advantage’ programme includes delivery and collection, complimentary monthly valeting and a choice of annual mileages on each vehicle, with monthly billing and customised monthly reporting.
To be honest I would add to that list with one of the key benefits I see of car rental, and that’s the elimination of duty of care issues.
As an SME employer, if you send one of your staffers out in their own car, you have a duty to make sure it’s roadworthy, business insured, the driver’s licence has been checked and so on. Bit of a faff?
With car rental, all that side is taken care of – because the rental company ensures all the above and checks the driver’s licence.
So six reasons for an SME to consider car rental then!
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