German fleet software company Fleetster is looking to reinvigorate the UK pool-car market by turning pool cars into mini car clubs.

The web-based software allows firms to more efficiently run pool cars via an online booking system that automatically allocates vehicles to employees to maximise their usage and avoid downtime.

It is similar to software used by large rental companies and can also offer vehicles to staff for personal use.

Fleetster’s founder Tim Ruhoff believes that pool cars have a lot of advantages over rental cars provided certain aspects can be overcome, and claimed his software solves these issues.

“The pool car has a lot of inherent advantages, but they can be labour-intensive with vehicle checks and tracking, but Fleetster solves all this,” said Ruhoff.

“One of the advantages over rental is the speed of delivery, this means you can increase utilisation. And apart from car cleaning, which is done by a service company, it’s all automated.”

Ruhoff said the software lends itself to the addition of electric cars to pool fleets because when bookings are made the journey distance is known and can therefore determine charge times and usage easily.

The software can also be used for single pool car business upward, with a price of between £5-£10 per car per month depending on the level of reporting and add-on software used.

“It can be a great advantage for a company to offer employees use of a pool car for private use, given the decrease in car ownership, particularly in city centres,” added Ruhoff.

“Fleetster is set up assuming that companies won’t want to make money out of their staff using this, and because it charges on a per-mile basis it can be very cost-effective for staff to use.”

The software company has recently overcome one of the stumbling blocks concerning insurance.

Previously, it was difficult to separate personal and business journey pool car insurance claims, and as a result business insurance costs could rise because of risks that a firm wasn’t previously exposed to.

However, Zurich has now developed an insurance product that separates these two areas.