Europcar MD Ken McCall has lamented the increasingly tough rental market, claiming rates haven’t matched the increased cost of doing business in the sector.

“I think the UK market as a whole has suffered as a large cost is Euro-based,” McCall told BusinessCar. “There has been a 20-40% increase in fleet costs and the UK customer isn’t sympathetic in recognising the price if car rental goes up. That’s the free market dynamic.”

McCall claimed the cost of renting in Germany is twice that of the UK. “I don’t doubt rental rates need to increase to reflect the cost of doing business in the UK, but it’s also about doing things differently,” he said.

McCall cited Europcar’s free delivery service as one method of doing things differently. “Focus groups say customers would be willing to pay for that,” he said. “The customer has to perceive value. If you perceive a unique service that saves time, effort and convenience, they will pay for it.

“Price has been a challenge for the whole industry, but it’s about creating value. If you can, then people will come back for repeat business.”

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