Sam Sterry's blog: The art of sharing
17 April 2018
Sam Sterry, Director of SME for Europcar UK Group highlights the key benefits of car sharing for businesses
In the past ten years we have seen the rise in the sharing economy - from sharing of property, think Airbnb, to peer to peer lending, such as Zopa. And transportation has been no exception to this growing trend, with car sharing providing an excellent example of how new technology is being leveraged to address the spare capacity of cars. But, to date, it seems that car sharing has been much more the premise of individuals - and particularly millennials - rather than businesses. However, the advantages in the commercial world are considerable.
Car rental is the ultimate in 'sharing' when it comes to flexible and reliable employee mobility, not to mention the benefits for the environment. For some businesses access to conventional short-term rental is the ideal solution - a car can be booked for a specific employee and journey, safe in the knowledge that the member of staff will be driving a car that is roadworthy - meeting Duty of Care requirements - as well as fuel efficient.
For businesses that want to tackle the risk of grey fleet mileage, switching to rental could achieve this, as well as cutting the cost and resources need to manage an in-house fleet. But daily rental isn't the only option. If they don't want to lose the flexibility of knowing they can access vehicles when and where they need them, then the latest advances in carpooling could be the answer.
Carpooling, operated on behalf of a company by a reputable provider that has access to up to date, quality fleet, provides immediate access to a vehicle for an hour, a day or a week. And the shared use by employees lowers overall business miles, as well as a company's carbon footprint.
The key to facilitating shared services, such as carpooling, is making the sure the vehicle is in the right place at the right time and is fit for purpose. Some reputable rental providers offer dedicated car-sharing vehicles, which are placed in an organisation's car park, ready for use by employees for business trips throughout the working week. Forward-thinking providers are also investing in electric vehicles, allowing businesses to opt for cleaner transport choices without the heavy burden of upgrading their fleet.
And the bonus is, for the weekend the vehicles can be offered to staff for personal use. For businesses looking to attract talent by offering that little bit more, this is a great added benefit.
Car rental and carpooling enables companies to reduce the size of their own fleet, tackles the challenge of grey fleet usage and eliminates costs associated with high mileage claims without compromising on the flexibility of staff transport options. Plus with access to reports and mileage monitoring, firms can stay in control of their costs.
The world of sharing is definitely the future - and businesses tapping into now for employee mobility to reap serious rewards.