Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Enterprise: More than rental
Cookies on Businesscar

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Business Car website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookies at any time

BusinessCar magazine website email Awards mobile

The start point for the best source of fleet information

Enterprise: More than rental

Date: 21 March 2016   |   Author:

BusinessCar Award-winning daily rental firm Enterprise tells Paul Barker it wants to move towards the centre of business travel needs - beyond basic rental and into 'full-service mobility'

In 2016, Enterprise Rent-A-Car celebrated a 10th consecutive BusinessCar Awards victory in the only awards voted for by the fleet industry at large.

But the company has big ambitions to expand its basis, beginning with the recent acquisitions of City Car Club and LCV rental expert Burnt Tree.

"For too long we have been an end provider to any already predisposed position and we want to be part of the original discussion to give you the best way to travel," UK & Ireland director of business rental Adrian Bewley tells BusinessCar. "The first thing is to make people aware of the choices they have, and we will have something very soon to make people say 'oh, I didn't realise you did that'."

Bewley took over from Rob Ingram as head of business rental three years ago, and celebrated 20 years with Enterprise at the beginning of 2016.

"We're almost morphing the company into a lot more than five years ago when it was perceived as a purely car-hire company," he says. "Because I'd seen the coal face in London [where he served as area manager], I could see how the market was changing very quickly towards total mobility and
end-to-end choice."

Bewley says the firm now has a lot more to do with decision-making on transportation compared with a couple of years ago, and the acquisition of an LCV specialist and a car club are just the first steps.
City Car Club claimed to be Britain's largest independent car-sharing club when it was acquired by Enterprise in April 2015, and operates in 18 cities across the UK.

Soon to be rebranded Enterprise Car Club, the operation has 1200 vehicles on its books, and is the opening offer from a business that can stretch from hiring a city car for an hour up to a large HGV and refrigeration trailer rental for a couple of years.

"The message to the market is that we have got the full suite," says Bewley. "The biggest message we have got is that if you're looking for diversity of product and service in-sourced, there is an argument that this is the most comprehensive service from a rental company. In fact, there's no argument."

The car club acquisition was the second major one in less than a year for Enterprise, which took over Burnt Tree in the summer of 2014. The two have been rolled together as Enterprise Flex-e-rent, providing van, HGV and specialist commercial vehicle rental, with integration completed a few months ago.

"The aspiration was very clear: to bring together two integrated offerings. These two moves are the first stages and we now anticipate 10 steps need to be done to bring it all together," predicts Bewley. "The question is, what else do we need and how does it all become Enterprise's offering?"

Enterprise's business rental boss says the first half of the 10-point plan is laid out, but anything beyond that will be set out in the future. "We need to get to step four or five and then go to a slightly different area. We need to integrate all into one big family so it feels connected," he says.

"We know what it is up to stage five but it's difficult to say beyond that. But we'll bring it all together so the customer has a choice. After that we'll have to see how customers react to that level of continuity we are putting across." He predicts the process will take around 12 months, at which point Enterprise will be placed better to compete for contracts on a more strategic level, rather than businesses responding to an issue by plunging into daily rental: "We are no longer just a car hire provider but a full mobility provider."

When asked whether Enterprise's direction will lead it to competing more directly with leasing companies, Bewley's answer was that "anyone in our space is competition of sorts".

"There is a very broad breadth of people we sit alongside," he continues. "We have no aspirations to go into the leasing space - it really is about integrated mobility. The by-product is all the pieces - car club, HGV etc. - and we talk about one large, integrated solution.

"Our hope is that in the future we will be a mobility manager and oversee fleet and B2B travel," Bewley concluded. "The reason that hasn't evolved in the market is that most people haven't got the spectrum of choice we have."

Joining the club

Access points is the key phrase Enterprise's head of business rental Adrian Bewley keeps coming back to when it comes to City Car Club, the firm Enterprise acquired last Easter and will rebrand as Enterprise Car Club next month.

The requirement to build understanding of the car club offering is also important. "We're double the size of the next-nearest competition.

It's access points and communication," he explains. "If people were aware of what is available in locations, it creates an easy way for access and would change things massively," he continues, musing that 1000 cars in the UK is the level required to be viable in UK business travel.

"People may have a business relationship with Enterprise, but not with the car club, and you may be better to rent for three hours," he adds. "If you have a good enough web of access points then you have a chance."