Fleet News

Internet helps streamline rental bookings for Whitbread

WEB-based services have helped streamline rental demand at Whitbread, the leisure business which operates hotels, fitness clubs, restaurants and coffee stores.

Using an online system to allow staff to book rental cars has cut administration costs and allowed all billing to be handled electronically. Employees are also given the power to book their own rental cars, within certain specified parameters, cutting down on the number of calls that are put through to the fleet department.

Nigel Trotman, business relationship manager for Whitbread, introduced electronic booking for rental cars in the latest development of a five-year partnership with National Car Rental.

The rental firm's carhirebooker.com system, which was launched as one of the first web-based car rental reservation systems, is designed specifically for businesses and provides Whitbread with an online system to streamline its daily rental needs.

Trotman said: 'The introduction of carhirebooker.com has created a quick, efficient and direct route for all our employees to book a car, without the hassle of calling or faxing confirmation.

'As Whitbread has a wide range of business interests across the UK, the benefit of having access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, makes it convenient for our people. And the implementation of the system means that we have cut administration costs and all billing is now done via an electronic system.'

All areas of the Whitbread group have access to carhirebooker.com, meaning that up to 200 staff who regularly book rental vehicles can do so at the touch of a button. Trotman added: 'carhirebooker.com also provides multi-booker access, making it easier for our administrators to make multiple bookings on behalf of our managers.

'Employees across all of our brands are booking cars through carhirebooker.com, in particular David Lloyd Leisure staff who find it useful for booking cars at short notice. We are encouraging all our staff to use the system.'

Donna Rose, customer online systems manager for National, said: 'While Whitbread already had a National implant to manage its daily rental needs, it was clear it would benefit from an online system to cater to the size and diversity of the business.'

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