Small businesses, those that employ between 1 and 50 people, equate to nearly a third (30%) of the UK rental market, a survey suggests.
Avis UK has released the findings of its study into the behaviours and attitudes of UK business travellers in relation to car rental services.
A key element of the study, developed in partnership with the Guild of Travel Management Companies, was set out to identify the UK’s most frequent users; those that rent a car six or more times per annum.
The research identified a clear male bias (57% male, 43% female) when it came to overall users, although frequent users were equally likely to be male or female.
Whilst there was a good spread across all age groups, over half (52%) of business car renters surveyed were in the 30-49 year old age group.
What’s more, they were most likely to be in a middle management position (27%), followed by junior management (20%).
Louisa Bell, commercial director at Avis UK, said: “The way in which we travel for work has been dramatically influenced by the introduction of increasingly more sophisticated technology, wider mobility channels, and greater commitment to CSR objectives.
“As such, it was critical to our business to get a current and clear picture of what today’s business traveller requires from its car rental partners.”
Out of 22 business sectors represented in the study, the most frequent users of car rental services, were made up of manufacturing (11%), education (10%) and Information Technology (8%).
The study also set out to determine the key factors which contribute to a frequent user’s decision to rent a vehicle.
It revealed that not only is the market very price sensitive, with 67% of respondents identifying cost as ‘very important’ in their decision making process, but it is also largely driven by convenience. 24/7 emergency assistance (60%), speed of service (58%) and the ability to book online (51%) were all considered ‘very important’ to UK business travellers.
Bell continued: “Even within a stable economic market, price will always be a driving factor, but it is fascinating to see the value placed on convenience by the UK’s business travelling community.
“Whether on the move within the UK or overseas, customers are clearly looking for minimum impact on their work commitments and anything from waiting in a line or making a lengthy call to arrange a reservation can be a deal breaker.
“From our own experience, we know that for time-poor customers, it’s the small things that count, and being able to make a reservation online or via an app can make all the difference.”
Whilst business travellers from all age groups and company size were more likely to state that they mainly/exclusively rent cars domestically (in the UK), business travellers aged 50+ and those working for small companies were the groups most likely to say that they mainly/exclusively rent abroad.
The majority of rentals, especially those in the UK, were for short periods (one day or 2-7 days) with only 24% of rentals in the UK and 37% of rentals abroad having a duration of 8+ days.
Business travellers from smaller companies were, compared to those from larger companies, more likely to rent a car for shorter periods.
Of rental cars collected outside of the UK for international trips, the most frequent collection points were in: Spain (18%), France (16%), United States (14%) and Germany (6%).