York City Council is now using the hourly rental car share service provided by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, as part of its continuing efforts to reduce transport costs and provide an alternative to the grey fleet.
The council is initially piloting five vehicles which will be based at its main EcoDepot site at Hazel Court in York, with around 170 employees already signed up. However, it plans to expand the programme to up to 25 cars when it amalgamates its entire staff into a new central headquarters later this year.
At present the vehicles are primarily being targeted at frequent, short-term trips such as site visits, surveys and inspections, where previously employees would have used their own cars and reclaimed mileage reimbursement at £0.45 per mile. Around 20 percent of the Council’s 5,000 staff currently drive their own cars for work journeys.
Geoff Derham, head of waste and fleet services at York City Council, said: "We decided to adopt Enterprise’s car sharing programme after speaking with existing users. As the company is already part of the government procurement framework for transport it helped us to avoid a lengthy and expensive procurement process.
"We intend to make hourly rental the primary form of transport for our employees in York wherever appropriate. Having fewer cars, used by more employees and at one fixed monthly fee, will mean that business journeys will cost less per mile.
"That means we’ll be expanding the programme to cover all council operations with our move to the new HQ. This will take place between December 2012 and April 2013 and will see all council staff who need to drive for business using the Enterprise cars as their first option.
"There are also significant sustainability considerations. We have no influence over the CO2 emissions from employees' own cars, many of which will be several years old and larger than they need to be for the journey in question. The Enterprise cars we are using will be smaller vehicles under a year old so we will benefit from the most fuel-efficient technologies from day one, plus we will be able to track and minimise them over time. This will help us reduce the carbon footprint of our business travel."
Rob Ingram, director of business rental at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, adds: "Car sharing through programmes such as this can make a lot of sense for businesses and particularly for the public sector, where the ‘grey fleet’ is currently still a key mobility option for most employees.
"That means staff who make shorter, more frequent journeys can rent cars by the hour instead of using their own. Their employers save money, have a better grasp of the environmental impact of their business travel and don’t have the same liability worries over the condition of the vehicles being driven.
"We strive to help organisations improve efficiency and cut transport costs whether they need vehicles by the hour, by the day or for months at a time."
The hourly rental/car sharing programme operated by Enterprise Rent-A-Car was launched in 2006 and currently operates thousands of vehicles globally across businesses, public sector organisations and universities.