Anian Schmitt, co-owner of OnlyRoses
Cars: 1, a Smart Fortwo; hire vehicles as needed
Financing method: Lease and spot hire
Anian Schmitt runs OnlyRoses with his wife, Sabine.
As the name suggests, the south-west London company specialises in one thing: roses. The roses come from Ecuador. Anian collects them twice weekly from the airport.
The business also delivers roses from its shop to customers throughout London, as and when orders are placed.
That means they need a delivery vehicle, but not all the time – and it’s impossible to predict when. It also makes little sense to lease a van full time for just two jobs per week. Anian’s solution is simple: rent vehicles when they’re needed.
OnlyRoses leases a Smart Fortwo full time, but for larger deliveries, they hire a VW Golf from an innovative company called Streetcar. They also use a Streetcar-provided VW Transporter van for the twice-weekly airport collection.
Streetcar supplies self-service pay-as-you go hire vehicles, which are available 24 hours a day. You can hire them for anything between 30 minutes and six months. The vehicles are located at more than 500 locations across six cities, including London.
When you need a car, you book it by phone or online. Then you go to the nearest Streetcar vehicle, open it using a smartcard, drive the car and return it to a Streetcar parking space when you’ve finished.
Anian says: “It works very well for us. There are usually five Streetcar vehicles within five minutes’ walk of the shop. I have been using Streetcar since June 2007 and there’s always a vehicle available when I need it, even at short notice.
“There’s a guaranteed parking space when I’ve finished using the car, too – a real advantage in this part of London.
“I use their Golfs on average three or four times a week. The flexibility suits us and the administration is simple because I get just one invoice a month, which details every time I’ve used a Streetcar.”
The billing process makes fuel costs – the first 30 miles per day are free – and the congestion charge easy. OnlyRoses doesn’t have to worry about vehicle tax, maintenance, parking costs and duty of care compliance, either. They’re taken care of by Streetcar.
For OnlyRoses, it works out cheaper. “Generally, the typical cost of driving a Golf for an hour is between £5 and £10.” That’s clearly more cost-effective than leasing a vehicle full time.
So is Anian happy to continue using Streetcar for his company’s transport needs? Two words suffice: “Yes, very!”
OnlyRoses is a company specialising exclusively in roses. It has a shop in south-west London and delivers roses to customers across the capital. Its roses are all sourced from Ecuador and supplied by farms certified to meet the highest social, labour and environmental standards. The company is owned by Sabine and Anian Schmitt. It employs one person full time and one person part time. Click on www.only-roses.com to find out more about OnlyRoses.