12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
BBT editor Paul Revel talks to Rob Ingram, director of business travel (Europe) at Enterprise Rent-A-Car about car rental programmes, car sharing and ‘grey fleets’
Customers tend think in terms of car brands rather than rental brands – so how do you differentiate from competitors, apart from price?
If someone’s only talking about the car, we’ve done something wrong. It’s about the service – whether a frequent traveller wanting a touchless high-speed process, or someone wanting to be shown all the controls and talked through it. For the corporate buyers, it’s about understanding their travel needs and building a bespoke programme for them
So what are corporates looking in their car rental programme?
Travel buyers have been refining their car programmes over the years. I’ve been with Enterprise in the UK for 20 years – and I can see the average size of car rented for business travel has got smaller. That’s down to down to the policy. We configure the booking tools to clients’ corporate travel policies. You can restrict what your traveller books – or highlight the preferred choice, which drives behaviour. Or you can have a two-tier system that emails the line manager for approval of certain types of cars or bookings.
Companies also want a good experience for their travellers….
That’s why we have both company and traveller profiles, to avoid having to ask the business traveller questions. They don’t need to be asked if they want insurance cover or certain products. It should all be there in the profile – and they may not know the answer anyway. This is especially important in other countries where they don’t speak the language and are not sure what they’re being offered. Also by having the traveller profile and history on the system, it speeds up the whole process – as does being a member of Enterprise Plus, the loyalty scheme.
How is the growing concept of ‘car-sharing’ affecting business travel?
For corporates it’s more a managed pool-car scheme. We sit down with the customer and work out how they use their cars and get a balance of regular rentals and hourly car-share where needed. Sometimes organisations have cars that sit around unused – that’s a wasted asset. Utilisation of vehicles is the most efficient aspect of savings.
What about companies’ so-called ‘grey fleets’ – private cars used for business?
This has big potential for savings. The government has been very good at tackling this. The economy has helped push the issue to the forefront – people looking for every opportunity to save.
And it’s a significant area of growth for us. Insurance, vehicle safety, reputation of company, CO2 emissions – these are all unknowns, and therefore risks for companies. Also, look at the per-mile reimbursements on a long drive and the extra costs – we can help clients work out the ‘break even’ mileage.