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B2B vehicle rental and the role of intermediaries

Andrew Hawkins Andrew Hawkins

Rental vehicles are an invaluable tool for businesses to manage increased demand on their existing fleets.

These spikes are driven by the rise of online shopping, more volatile customer needs and an increased focus on operating fleets at maximum capacity, according to our research.

The survey of 81 B2B corporate managers responsible for vehicle rental procurement, together with a number of in-depth interviews with senior decision makers, rental providers and leasing companies, also found that brokers are well placed to meet the fluctuating needs of companies with large fleets across multiple sites.

Use of rental vehicles

Rental vehicles are commonly used to replace vehicles in need of repair and to manage seasonal peaks, short contracts and fulfil new longer-term contracts until cheaper lease vehicles become available. For example, supermarkets tend to have one planned peak at Christmas and manage it by introducing new vehicles into the fleet in November and phasing out the extra vehicles in January.

Nearly 60% of respondents who have operations across 50 or more sites spend more than £500,000 annually on rental vehicles, though it is lower (13%) for respondents who have a smaller number of sites.

Choosing a rental provider or broker

Key considerations when choosing a rental provider include price (84%), geographic coverage (58%) and ease of booking (52%). Other considerations include vehicle availability, delivery and management information/analytics.

Major daily rental providers like Enterprise, Avis, Hertz and Europcar are most commonly used as corporates’ primary supplier.

Notably, almost two-thirds of respondents use B2B brokers like FleetEurope, Nexus and City Transport Solutions to fulfil some of their rental requirement when their primary rental provider is unable to. A key benefit of these brokers is their relationships with multiple suppliers, which gives them access to a very large fleet of vehicles so they can source vehicles even when the largest daily rental providers are unable to do so.

Brokers have successfully developed a niche position between rental companies and corporate customers and are particularly relevant for organisations that have very large fleets across more than 50 sites, or where specific types of vehicles are required.

To find out more get in touch with Andrew Hawkins.