Avis says discarding car hire is a false economy

November 13, 2008

Fleets don’t need to discard car rental to reduce their cost base in a recession, instead they need to use it in a more considered fashion, says Avis Rent a Car. The car rental company’s new Sales Director, Anthony Ainsworth, has come up with some sound advice for businesses on how to utilise car rental to reduce costs and keep drivers safe and mobile.

Ainsworth, who has brought with him 20 years of experience in the leisure and consumer industries, is currently assisting fleet customers in adopting a more structured corporate rental policy which takes into account the current rising vehicle management costs.

Avis provides pool cars for a number of its corporate customers. This effectively means a company has a vehicle on site constantly and users can car share, with this option Avis can deliver a 25-30% cost saving to a business.

“There are a lot of businesses requiring one day rentals, this is not cost effective for them and unappealing to the rental industry due to the downtime on vehicles and handling costs. In the past we have introduced a pool car option to a client instead, bringing down overall costs to that business,” says Ainsworth.

“Flexibility is key and Avis is helping fleets view things differently. Using rental in a more considered fashion will save costs without compromising employee safety or comfort.”

In addition, a bespoke and structured corporate rental policy ensures drivers rent cars that are suitable for their individual journeys and reduces cost into the bargain. Avis is also able to identify rentals with extremely low mileage, and would recommend an alternative form of transport, for example train or taxi as these could prove to be more cost effective.

Flexibility is particularly paramount for those businesses with new employees who are on probation for three months, or who have a relatively high turnover of staff. In the probation period, rental can avoid the costly early termination charges associated with ending a contract hire agreement if an employee doesn’t work out.

Congestion charging, parking and speeding fines and refuelling can also cause car rental companies headaches and add to fleet rental costs, as Avis has to pass administration costs onto its clients.

Damage charging is also another key problem area, with around 4% of cars returned with some form of damage, at an average cost of around £350. Avis is working hard with customers to educate their drivers as to the importance of looking after their rental vehicle, just as they would their own car.

All these issues can be proactively managed by Avis with its customers and changing driver behaviour is key to keeping these costs down. Drivers have to be more accountable for their rental vehicles.

It is also worth reminding drivers that a rental period is 24 hours. It may well be more cost effective if time is managed correctly, for example finishing a rental at 1700hrs rather than 0800hrs the following day. Out of office hours deliveries can also mean additional costs. Avis works with customers to amend rental bookings to provide a convenient service while making sure timings are really necessary and thus, bringing down costs.

Bespoke insurance
Insurance is also an area where drivers can be guilty of spending more money than they have to. Companies could save up to £70 per week per driver just by ensuring insurance levels are preset. Avis’ bespoke and tailor-made corporate packages mean the choice of insurance is already made for the driver and the company can rest assured they are correctly insured without increasing rental costs.

In fact, by operating its unique customer reporting suite, bespoke to each client, Avis is able to offer businesses a controlled international agreement that consolidates total rental spend worldwide.

“The Avis corporate team are experts in offering bespoke packages to all our clients however big or small and we pride ourselves on the advice and expertise we can offer,” concludes Ainsworth.

“The rental industry provides a very attractive proposition at this time and I would urge fleet managers to think outside the box about their requirements. It may well be that budget restrictions put limits on fleet resources – this is an area in which car rental can make real financial sense.”