Santiago is first to admit that the landscape for business mobility – and the role rental plays in that – has changed significantly in the past three years. He says: “Probably the biggest shift has been adapting to the hybrid working model, which means there’s a bigger requirement for home deliveries – rather than to office locations – than previously.  

“For Europcar Mobility Group, that shift has not been an issue because we already had a very well-established delivery and collection model. And this is now backed up by our connected vehicle strategy which means we know when vehicles are ready for collection – improving overall fleet utilisation and, therefore, the customer experience.

He goes on to tell me that of course, every business is looking to transition to lower emissions, but the path to zero is not necessarily straightforward. He says: “There is still so much to be learnt about electric motoring and how companies need to adjust plans and schedules to ensure their drivers are not put under unfair pressure or stress while at the same time maintaining productivity levels.

“As such, we see our role as helping employers take small steps to learn from real-world experiences before going for a wholesale shift to electric. Therefore, right now our fleet needs to remain a good mix of ICE and low and zero emissions but with a clear strategy to steadily increase the proportion of electric over the next few years.” 

Santiago is keen to acknowledge that after 2020, some businesses may not have had the appetite for product innovation and service enhancements – but that was not the case at Europcar. He says: “In fact, to the contrary, the last two years have seen our business apply renewed energy to innovate for a quite different business mobility marketplace. 

“We have made it a priority to invest in the technology that underpins our services. Our mobility platform provides seamless access to our full range of multi-modal solutions, from street-side on-demand car share and daily rental to pool car fleets and long-term rental. We have also used technology to make the life of the fleet manager easier, helping them keep control on costs. Hand-held tech for vehicle delivery and collection reduces queries; SMS messaging provides drivers with prompts to get vehicles refuelled. 

“Our connected vehicle strategy has also played a valuable role in enhancing the customer experience. Now 99% of our UK fleet is ‘connected’, enabling us to know whether vehicles are ready for collection and are situated at the intended pick-up point. 

“This also helps us take a more proactive approach to vehicle servicing, reducing the risk of unscheduled vehicle downtime as well as enhancing the customer experience after rental with more robust reporting to substantiate charges.” Despite all this innovation, Santiago goes on to tell me the Europcar Mobility Group will continue to invest in the technology that underpins their services, delivering a customer experience that is totally in tune with today’s business mobility needs. 

He says: “For example, we are currently looking at one of the big pain points for business travellers – queues at airports. We are rolling out key dispensers to create a ‘deskless’ customer experience for vehicle pick-up. Already piloted in a number of airports across Europe including Heathrow, the scheme will be rolled out more fully in 2023 and beyond.

“We will also continue to build on our long-term Flex solutions to give businesses the opportunity to trial electric motoring without making capital commitments. Offering monthly rental with no upfront deposit or lengthy commitment, Europcar Flex for EV means employers and their drivers can experience electric motoring in real-world conditions.”

Santiago believes it’s the combination of technology with a purpose and a team that is focused on delivering a great customer experience that makes Europcar Mobility Group stand out against the opposition. He says: “Listening to what our customers need – and what they think of our service – is fundamental.”

Europcar Mobility Group was awarded “Best Rental Company” at the 2022 Business Car Awards, and Santiago believes ‘adding value’ is at the heart of a good rental company. 

He says: “We can all do the basics. But we must do so much more. Europcar Mobility Group does that by playing an almost consultative role in helping businesses plan their future mobility strategies – listening, adapting, and innovating.”

To find out more about how Europcar can help your business call 0371 384 0140 or visit