car program

car program

Admit it, when you think of your corporate travel program, air and hotel are often instantly top of mind. But what about your car program?

Your organization’s car program is an incredibly important part of your total travel program. That’s why we’re bringing you our top seven tips and tricks that are guaranteed to take your program to the next level and improve your travellers’ experience.

Tip 1 –Use your data to your advantage

Your data is more than just numbers –it’s a powerful negotiating tool.

Analyse your organization’s data to uncover the most popular car rental locations and travel destinations. Then use this information to score better deals for your travellers. While it might not be possible to receive an overall deal on all your organization’s car rentals, consider negotiating fixed fares and discounts on the most frequent/popular destinations your employees tend to travel to.

Tip 2 –Make sure you aren’t overspending

Car insurance is extremely important and is something that differs from organization to organization.

Some organizations prefer to use a specific car insurance provider for the entire company, while others require the traveller to purchase basic insurance offered by the car rental company.

Either way, it’s important to be clear with your employees about your organization’s car program policy regarding the purchase of car insurance. The last thing you want to do is pay twice for car insurance!

Tip 3 –Continue negotiating! 

This tip will help you when it comes to one-way fares and drop-fees. You might not be aware, but every time an employee uses a rental vehicle for a one-way trip or returns their rental car to a different location from the original, your organization pays an increased fee.

Work with your Travel Management Company (TMC) and car rental vendor to identify the rental locations where your organization has the highest number of drop-fees and one-way fares. If you know that these one-way fares and drop-fees are going to continue occurring, use this information to negotiate lower costs for those popular locations.

Tip 4 –Avoid airport fees

Did you know that there is usually a location surcharge when travellers pick up their rental vehicle from a popular hub, like an airport or rail station?

While it might not seem like such a big deal, over time these surcharges certainly add up. While it’s not necessary to alter your car program’s policy to mandate that travellers pick up their rental vehicle from an off airport location, try encouraging them to do so whenever possible.

Tip 5 –Security, security, security

Always ensure that your employees are booking their car rentals through your TMC. This is important for two main reasons.

The first is Duty of Care. Your organization is responsible for your employees’ safety when travelling for business. When your travellers book their reservation on their own, you lose total visibility of their whereabouts. And if ever there’s an emergency, you will be unaware of their travel dates and times, and their location. However, when their rental vehicle is booked through your TMC, you’re easily able to access their location information in the event of a crisis.

Secondly, booking through your TMC increases your organization’s savings. When your travellers use your organization’s Online Booking Tool or call your dedicated travel agent, they’re booking using your negotiated rates and discounts. Alternatively, when they make a reservation on their own, they’re likely paying full price which definitely increases your overall travel spend.

Tip 6 – Invest in your own add-ons

If your organization is constantly paying for extra car rental add-ons, consider purchasing some of them for your entire organization.

For example, if your travellers constantly purchase a GPS add-on when using a car rental, consider actually purchasing a few GPS’ for your travellers to use. These small add-ons might seem insignificant, however, like airport locations fees, they swiftly add up over time. So, while making this purchase might come with an expensive price tag, your organization will win in the long run when it comes to savings.

If it isn’t possible for your organization to buy its own add-ons, it might be worthwhile to update your car program policy. Clearly specify which car rental add-ons are purchasable and which are not.

Tip 7 – Membership programs are a traveller’s best friend

Encourage your travellers to participate in a car rental loyalty program. Programs like this ensure a smoother travel experience and they often offer their members free perks, like upgrades. Not only will your employees travel in ultimate comfort, your organization will save at the same time.

A great program to consider is National Car Rental’s Emerald Club Program. The Emerald Club program has three different levels, depending on the number of car rentals made in a calendar year: Emerald Club, Emerald Club Executive, Emerald Club Executive Elite.

Being part of National Car Rental’s Emerald Club comes loaded with perks. Members are able to accumulate points which can then be used for free rentals. Members also avoid paying second driver fees and are able to “drop & go” due to convenient email receipts. As well, through the Emerald Club program members are able to choose from a wide array of vehicles, ranging from intermediate to full size, all for the price of an intermediate vehicle. 

And the best part? The Emerald club program also works with Enterprise Rent-A-Car! Travellers can use the program when booking with either car rental vendor and can also continue accumulating points.

How would you optimize your Car Program? We’re curious to know!

Sources:

Personal Vehicle vs Car Rental

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