Renting Vehicles Delivers Business Transport Flexibility
Flexibility is key in business and never more so than when the future is shrouded in uncertainty.
In terms of transport, short-term vehicle hire, historically known as daily rental but today extending to weeks and months if required, is viewed as providing the flexibility required by many businesses in what continues to be an uncertain trading environment.
Simultaneously, companies remain in full control of their operations and with a fleet profile that can be quickly changed to meet changing demand.
Short-term vehicle hire also delivers a number of other significant advantages including:
- Financial advantages
- Environmental benefits
- Helping businesses comply with their occupational road risk management responsibilities.
Even if companies can access bank credit to buy new vehicles, the question remains as to whether organisations want to have cash tied up in a depreciating asset? Similarly, business uncertainty means that employers may not want to commit to leasing vehicles on a typical three or four-year contract with the risk of financial penalties if terminated early.
Utilising short-term hire means that vehicles can be returned at any time without charge if business demand drops or if business activity increases or circumstances change – perhaps due to seasonality – then extra vehicles can be immediately added.
Therefore, vehicle rental can be financially attractive to fulfil a variety of requirements. These, for example, might include: meeting the transport requirements of temporary contract staff or new starters and varying business needs through the year – a van to take a stand to an exhibition, or a 4×4 in the winter for site visits, and thus avoid retaining a fleet of vehicles with a low level of utilisation.
Additionally, retaining an old-fashioned pool car fleet or allowing employees to drive their own cars on company business – the so-called grey fleet – exposes businesses to significant risk, both financial and at-work driver safety.
Maintaining a pool car or cars can be a problem – an employee should be tasked with monitoring the condition of a vehicle(s), fuelling it and maintaining it. Whilst check sheets for drivers can help, they are rarely used properly, and are often proved to be nothing more than ‘lip service’ when managing such vehicles.
Similarly, if staff are allowed to drive their own car on business trips it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy and insured correctly. In addition, such vehicles may not be appropriate to represent the business in terms of type, age and condition.
Use of such vehicles can also be viewed by employees as giving them the opportunity to obtain ‘extra’ revenue through mileage expense claims for journeys that perhaps cannot be fully justified from a business viewpoint.
Cars and vans rented from a reputable source are among the newest vehicles on the UK’s roads. Therefore, benefits include a reduced carbon footprint due to the introduction of new low-emission, fuel-efficient engine technology, improved driver safety as vehicles are equipped with the very latest safety features a boosted image due to the running of modern vans.
It is often financially advantageous to rent a vehicle through a rental management business rather than directly via a rental company.
Such organisations use their buying power to drive down daily rates and often provide software to manage rental usage and consolidated billing.
An online management portal enabling the setting up of rental policies and authority levels, easy booking and return of vehicles, spend monitoring and providing a record of who is driving what vehicle at what time is essential to effective cost management and ensures administration simplicity.
Meanwhile, consolidated monthly billing significantly reduces administration as businesses only have to deal with one invoice once a month for all rental requirements.
Run Your Fleet offers national rental coverage, has a facility to manage clients’ rental requirements, consolidated monthly rental billing and the facility to open an account free of charge.