Fleet News

Thrifty points the way to getting best service

FLEETS thinking about using daily rental services should apply a set of clear guidelines to ensure their providers give a full range of services that cover every eventuality. And they should consider using two firms to ensure competition keeps them up to the mark.

According to Thrifty Car Rental managing director Robert Burton, there are seven key services that should be offered by a rental firm.

These are:

  • Cars and vans for short-term usage, normally averaging seven-10 days in rental length
  • Cars and vans on monthly flexi-fleet terms, which are rolling 28-day contracts, often for companies with new staff, or employees waiting for new vehicles
  • Long-term, pre-agreed six-month rental arrangements, which include servicing
  • Rentals services with and without insurance
  • Nationwide delivery and collection
  • One-way rentals
  • Airport pick-up or personal meetings.

    Burton said: 'It is important to ensure that the rental company being used cannot only supply the above products and services, but also offers high quality service, with accurate billings, providing all this under one roof.

    'The size of the rental requirement will determine whether the fleet operator uses more than one company for all its requirements. It may be better to run with two suppliers, to ensure competition between the two rental companies and keep both 'honest' with their services.'

    Some rental suppliers often look to tie up fleets into long three-year deals, which Burton believes is not a sensible commercial move.

    He said: 'So much can happen in six months, let alone every year. Too much emphasis is placed on the long-term nature of the deals, when what customers want is good service, with competitive prices, all the time.'

    Burton also warned fleet managers to be careful about using rental firms for long-term provision, thinking they are saving money, which can result in some fleets incurring unnecessary charges when cars are replaced.

    He said: 'Rental vehicles can be utilised for long-term replacement but the rental company may have refurbish-ment charges every six months when the cars are replaced. This can be prohibitive but, equally, company car drivers may enjoy the use of a new car every six months. With no servicing and tyre replacement costs, it may be the solution.'

    Rental checklist

    Thrifty has compiled a checklist for fleet managers to ensure they get the best service:

  • Always consider two rather than one supplier if your rental requirement is large
  • Meet the owners of the business. Companies which operate where the owners are hands-on give much greater piece of mind to knowing the quality of service on offer
  • Make sure the rental company can provide all the vehicle types you require. Are there vans required? Is there a need for cabriolets?
  • Is staff morale improved by offering a wide variety of rental vehicles?
  • Can the rental company invoice on time, accurately?
  • Can you make bookings online if you prefer?
  • Are the suppliers experienced providing rental services to the fleet industry?

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