Fleet News

Web watch: we review what’s hot on the net

FOR companies that run fleets of LCVs, rental firms can prove a welcome relief when a surge in business – perhaps during the recent holiday period – leaves the operation struggling to meet its transport requirements.

A web-savvy rental firm can easily prove the tonic to these times of stress – and Wannavan is a prime example. Unlike a number of car rental firms our spotlight has fallen on in the last few weeks which have overloaded their sites with content to win business, Wannavan, which is part of Northgate, takes an ultra simple approach – and it works.

The homepage is a doddle to get familiar with, taking a mixture of children’s television-style pictures, a limited left-hand menu and straightforward van finder function.

Click on one of the small, medium and large van images and the visitor is presented with easy-to-understand descriptions of the vehicles available including essentials like load capacity, make and model information and fuel type. So you’ve made the choice of van and the next step is book it. Wannavan then offers one of the best step-by-step guides to an online transaction I’ve seen. With screengrabs and text the site gives such a reassuring and foolproof explanation in six stages it makes you wonder why everyone else doesn’t do it.

While there isn’t much on the site, each area is designed for simple use, from Terms to About this site, which serves as the sitemap. Another clever touch is the Feedback form, which allows the company to get instant feedback from its users and on the rental process. There is a problem, however. I made a test booking, choosing the van size, county in which I wanted to collect the van, the hire period’s start and end date. The comprehensive quote was calculated quickly. I accepted this and was then able to choose which location within my chosen county I wanted to collect the van.

Clicking on View Map takes you to a Multimap page with the site highlighted. Unfortunately this doesn’t open in a new browser. I clicked Back in order to return to the booking details and was instead presented with ‘Warning: page has expired’. It meant re-inputting my rental requirements.

The lowdown

The site: www.wannavan.com We like: ‘Painting by numbers’ simplicity to using the site

We don’t like: The one way trip to Multimap that messed up my booking

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