Reports of the deal were revealed exclusively at the Fleet Show with news that a deal with one of the UK's biggest rental companies was imminent amid predictions that it could wipe £50 million from rental industry costs. Staff at Avis rental locations will be handed mobile hand-held computers manufactured by Symbol which uses Microsoft's latest PocketPC operating system and runs the new AutoGraph software from Belper-based Technological Business Solutions.
When rental cars are returned, Avis staff use the hand-held device to scan a bar code on the car and display its details, then key in information about any new damage. The AutoGraph system instantly calculates the costs of repair work, which can be shown to a customer. The client than authorises any extra costs by 'signing' the screen. A small number of units are being trialled at sites in Scotland before a decision is made on rolling out the system to the rest of the UK and eventually the thousands of sites throughout Europe in a deal potentially worth millions of pounds.