Arval is moving into personal leasing and maintenance services, while seizing opportunities in car share and electric vehicles to broaden its appeal to a bigger pool of potential customers.
The leasing giant, number four in the FN50, revealed details of five new products at a press briefing in Paris last month as it extends its focus from serving company cars to targeting the individual.
The new products are Arval For Me, Arval Car Sharing, Arval For Employee, My Arval (Digital Suite) and Arval Electric Vehicle Offer. They are all due to be launched over the next 12 months.
Philippe Bismut, Arval chairman and CEO, said: “Corporates have more employees than company car drivers that have a need for a car. So, our new ambition will be to address the wider population. We are pioneering full service, long-term rental, medium-term rental and new propositions for flexible, sustainable, efficient renting solutions for individuals and corporate companies of all sizes.”
Services for fleets
Three of the new services are targeted at fleet operators, though each has an employee aspect.
Arval Car Sharing minimises the need for a pool fleet or rental service while also addressing the concern that company cars spend more than 80% of their time sitting idle.
Essentially corporate car share, from a few minutes to a few days, Arval’s scheme integrates with telematics, helping to control costs. Customers can use the scheme to replace pool and rental cars and, in some case, reduce the size of their company fleet.
The company pays Arval for car sharing on a per car per month basis.
However, employees can also use the cars for private purposes at weekends and evenings. The driver pays Arval directly and, while the price is to be confirmed, the leasing company is confident that its scale means it will be below the market rate for a short-term hire.
It will then share these revenues with the customer. Already available in Italy, Arval Car Sharing will be launched in the UK in the second half of the year.
My Arval is a new digital suite for fleet decision-makers and drivers. For fleets, it is a customised dashboard and reporting solution for both day-to-day operational control and for making strategic decisions.
It includes a new function, called My Integral Fleet, which enables customers using multiple suppliers to aggregate all management data in one place. This includes other leasing companies and even information on vehicles the fleet buys itself.
Meanwhile, a new My Arval Community portal allows fleets to share views and best practice.
Drivers can benefit from My Arval via an app that enables them to access a wide range of services, including maintenance bookings, digital fuel card, parking locator, toll and fines management, and vehicle documentation.
Arval believes the time has arrived to get more heavily involved in electric vehicles (EVs) with the launch of Arval Electric Vehicle Offer.
Included within the proposition is a six-month EV trial to help customers decide and an opportunity for drivers to swap for a diesel or petrol car for a few weeks a year for longer journeys, such as holidays.
Arval is partnering with Nissan and Renault for customer advice and expertise, although it will offer a complete range of EVs. It is also working with NewMotion for home/workplace charging points, including an option to have home charging costs automatically reimbursed by the employer, and an electricity payment card.
Arval Electric Vehicle Offer is available now in the UK with the capacity for vehicles to be charged purely with electric from sustainable sources, such as solar and wind.
Services for the individual
Arval estimates that among its bigger customers, just 10% of employees have a company car. Yet most drive a car. Its solution is Arval For Employee, a service in three parts.
The first option is either personal contract hire with Arval or a salary sacrifice scheme via the employer. Included is a ‘leaver offer’, enabling the employee to lease or buy the car if they leave or retire from the company.
Should the employee not require full-time use of a car, they could choose option two: access as and when needed via the Arval Car Sharing scheme.
The third element is Arval For Me, a service, maintenance and repair proposition for employees with their own cars. Arval will open up its preferred network of franchised dealers, independents and mobile repairers, and offer additional services such as door-to-door pick up.
Already on trial in Italy, Arval For Me will be piloted in the UK by the end of the year and launched in 2019.
Initial targets will be employees of corporate customers, but the service will be made available to all private individuals with pricing based on ‘pay per use’ rather than a monthly service plan.
Commenting on the move into personal leasing, Bismut said: “It’s a risk but primarily an opportunity because it is a much wider audience. We see ourselves changing from a funding company to a service provider that also finds vehicles.”