As has been the case for the last few months, unprecedented supply issues in the automotive industry are continuing to have a significant impact on the availability of car and van rentals.
While there is no sign of the situation changing materially in the short-term, at Lex Autolease we’re continuing to help our customers respond to these challenges and mitigate some of the associated risks.
This means we’re constantly striving to provide the best service for you, so we hope that the solutions outlined below will help ease some of the pressures you might be facing.
Taxi services - getting you where you need to go
We understand that the lack of availability is causing inconvenience to our customers. For this reason, we have launched our taxi solution – a service which provides access to private hire vehicles via Lex Autolease – where customers can book services quickly by phone or email.
Using an online solution, we can access to a network of independent taxi companies to ensure we get you where you need to go, fast. Regular SMS updates will also be provided to ensure you have peace of mind throughout the process.
And the good news is, we have set up a simple system that will allow you to be billed via invoice in the same way as car and van rental bookings.
Keep an eye out for further information on this in due course, but in the meantime if you have any questions regarding this new service, please contact you Customer Relationship Manager.
Building our supplier base
As we continue to battle delays, we have been actively looking to increase our number of suppliers.
On 18 July, we will be launching our new supplier Enterprise Rent-a-Car, which we are anticipating will help improve short-term vehicle access. Enterprise has the largest fleet of vehicles available for hire across the UK and the largest branch network, giving us further options to support your daily hire needs.
We are also in discussions with United Rentals Group (URG) and SIXT to see what support they could offer to our customers.
Further information will be provided to you as we progress these discussions.
Improving customer experience
Following a trial period around customer notice times, we have identified that 7-10 days is the optimum notice period for requesting car and van rentals. This is because in many cases, when a request is made further in advance, suppliers do not know the availability they will have and so decline the rental, causing the customer to have to rebook and leading to significant dissatisfaction.
However, we understand that as customers, you want to book your rental at a time that suits you. To save you from having to rebook if an early request is rejected, we will hold the booking until 14 days before the hire date and then recirculate it to our suppliers to secure a vehicle on your behalf. We believe this gives us the best chance to meet your needs and prevents multiple bookings for the same hire.
Keeping you in the loop
Over the last few months, you’ll have seen a couple of extra updates from us, and this is something we’ll continue to do as we go through this turbulent period.
These updates are designed to give you a general overview of the current situation and highlight any considerations that could help reduce the impact of the vehicle shortage on your business. So far, we have suggested:
- Holding on to a vehicle due to come back off contract, as these contracts can potentially be extended on request. Once you hand a vehicle back, it can’t be returned
- If a driver leaves the business do not terminate the contract but reallocate or use as a pool vehicle
- Remain as flexible as possible with your requirements – including timings and vehicle type
To help our customers, we have also changed our communications around declining a booking. You will now see further details on what your options are to help you try to mitigate the inconvenience this will cause your business.
Working with suppliers to alleviate the shortage of rental vehicles
As one of the largest vehicle leasing businesses in the UK, we have access to a number of returning fleet vehicles. We are working with our car and rental suppliers to explore the possibility that they could have priority access to purchasing any of our vehicles that would usually be sold at auction.
We hope that by creating a clear set of parameters around our suppliers needs, we will be able to give them the option of buying some of our returning vehicles, which should in turn alleviate some of the vehicle shortage issues they are facing.
Although it is a challenging time, we want to reiterate our commitment to supporting our customers. We will be continually looking at new options, keeping you updated as we go and aiming to minimising the impact on your business.
If you have any questions, please contact your Relationship Manager.