THE COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting fluctuations in the business landscape put a lot of pressure on small businesses during 2020.
Van operators needed to be flexible and wary of having to make long-term commitments to vehicle lease contracts.
Research conducted by Europcar in 2020 found that 52% of fleet managers had faced early termination penalties on lease agreements during COVID-19.
Europcar developed a range of Long-Term Rental Solutions to give organisations flexibility over their vehicle usage and costs. This development impressed the judges in this year’s Business Vans Awards where Europcar was the winner of the Best Long Term Rental category.
The company’s Flex product offers brand new vans for 3 months+ without the need for a hefty non-refundable deposit, with a wide choice of makes and models, and a variety of mileage options.
Maintenance is included and the monthly price is fixed, allowing business owners to stay in control of their budget by eliminating the costs associated with owning a fleet.
As a result Europcar Vans and Trucks saw the average length of rental increase 50% year on year as firms chose the flexibility of rental as an alternative to long term lease agreements.
The company also saw a significant 90% increase YoY in mid to long-term vehicle rentals within the SME segment.
Europcar Vans and Trucks has the youngest fleet in the LCV industry and offers a wide range of vehicles which can be customised to meet customer requirements.
Options include customer’s own livery, racking and shelving, towbars, beacons and more.
Crucial driver insight and improved fleet optimisation is also delivered by Europcar for its long-term van rental customers through its partnerships with Geotab and SureCam.
Businesses can choose to add telematics and video dash cam technology to their rentals, providing access to valuable insights to help improve driver behaviour and optimise fleet utilisation.
Dave Saint, Van and Truck Director, Europcar Mobility Group UK, said: “As companies saw their agility and ability to adapt their fleets severely tested in the last year, we have worked with customers to help them review and adjust their vehicle rental requirements to keep their businesses moving.
We understand the need to deliver a level of flexibility that means customers can rent a vehicle and then return it when they need to, without being locked in for a fixed term.”
As well as the financial pressures on businesses due to the pandemic, driver well-being is also something that is very much front of mind for fleet managers, as they try to juggle fluctuating demand and the potential additional workload for drivers.
Our partnership with Geotab and SureCam allows fleet managers to add video and telematics technology to a long-term van rental package, giving them the opportunity to understand more about driving habits. Not only does the technology give them insight into driving behaviour – with the opportunity to reward safe driving behaviour – but in the case of an accident it will notify them immediately, so that everything can be done to keep the driver as safe as possible.”
He added that sustainability and environmentally sound transport is something that most businesses are looking for.
“We have the youngest fleet in the LCV rental sector. Our wide range of brands and vehicle models not only offer reliable and safe driving but are also Euro6 compliant. This gives customers the confidence to know that they are in vehicles that meet the clean air and ultra-low emission zone requirements.”