It is my pleasure to post the first blog from the Fleet department at Avis UK. As the Fleet Director, I have responsibility for the buying and selling of all the cars that our customers rent. The supply of cars is a topic that generates a lot of interest from all our customers and staff. Many have been asking questions such as:
- Why does Avis have particular manufacturers and not others
- Why are only some models of cars available and not others? (e.g. we have the Peugeot 207 but not the 107)
- Why can’t I always get a diesel?
- When will Avis be getting new models on fleet such as the new Ford Mondeo?
- When will we be introducing a “Green fleet”?
Over the next few months, my team and I hope to address most, if not all, of these questions. However, in my first blog, I’d like to share with you a simple summary of how we choose the cars that we take on fleet.
The starting point is our customers. I work very closely with our sales and marketing teams to understand what type of cars our customers want. The car market has expanded enormously to cars of every shape and size and we need to put together a fleet that meets our customer’s requirements and expectations. Our customers want a straightforward and clear choice that starts with the size of our cars (how many people, how much luggage etc) and then expands to recognise customers desire for different levels of comfort (engine size, premium brands, convertibles). This choice has recently extended to guaranteeing certain Select Series models (e.g. VW Golf and the Audi A4 and A6) which are listed on our website. We also need to ensure that all our cars are supplied safe, clean and reliable as well as being available at a competitive price.
We then work very closely with the manufacturers and other suppliers to source the required cars. The most cost effective way of providing these cars is buying new cars and then holding them for a limited period (generally up to 12 months). This ensures that we provide the safest and most reliable cars. However, we are only able to buy cars that the manufacturers want to see sold as “nearly new” as all our cars are sold again either by the manufacturer or Avis after less than 12 months. This explains the reason behind the variation in makes and models that our customers experience.
While our primary focus is ensuring that our customers are able to get a car that meets their expectations, we also have to buy a mixture of make, model and specifications to ensure that we have the right fleet for our final customer – the buyer of the nearly new car. The result, we intend, is that we will always meet our customers expectations in terms of the car group booked but often we will exceed, even delight, with higher specifications. We are only able to guarantee the higher expectation, though, if the higher car group or Select Series cars are booked.
I look forward to sharing more details with you on how our fleet is developing next month (as an example I am delighted to welcome Citroen’s award winning C4 Grand Picasso on fleet in the next few weeks).
Please keep your questions coming in.