Bargaining Table Car Rental Tips for Corporate Planners

Five ways to up the value of your car rental program, from the negotiating table to the gas tank.

What’s the view like from the other side of the car rental bargaining table? Bob Shaw wants to give you a glimpse. As director of strategic accounts, central and western Canada, Enterprise Holdings Inc, parent company to global car rental outfits Alamo, National and Enterprise, Shaw has the inside scoop on how corporate planners can position themselves to get the best bang for their client’s buck.

1.   Quantity means savings. Corporate travel management should carefully evaluate every possible car rental requirement, whether for meetings, events, business travel, promotions, even for yourself when conducting site inspections and other needs outside the company’s travel policy. Says Shaw, “Base it on historical data so we can work with true numbers. When everything is on the table, corporate planners have better leverage and we can match the most suitable program.”

2.   Compliance is crucial. “This is huge for us,” he states. When putting together the program, the car rental company expects to get the business, and the corporate planner ultimately benefits. Shaw notes the chink in the compliance armour tends to occur when company policies are not clear cut or mandated.

3.   Magnify the fine print. When comparing car rental companies, Shaw has a warning: “There is a real difference in standard business practice of value and costs savings. Uncover all costs because it will affect the daily rate.” Three surcharges that may go unnoticed: energy recovery fee, refueling costs and vehicle licensing fee. Best defense? Complete transparency. Corporate travel managers should request from suppliers a detailed breakdown of all the costs.

4.   Rise to the challenge. A last minute, move-mountains request like a bannered fleet of flashy cars for a promotional or incentive event is de rigueur for corporate planners. Can your supplier keep pace? If you’ve signed on with an established, well-stocked vendor, the odds will be heavily stacked in your favour.

5.   Cherry on top. The next time you negotiate a program, put this “cheat sheet” in your pocket: It’s a list of the most popular concessions as reported by respondents to Runzheimer International’s annual Car Rental Negotiations survey, published this past June. • Unlimited mileage (91%)
• Insurance concessions (85%)
• Premium club memberships (79%), and upgrades (74%)
• Fifty percent (50%) are assured waiver of drop-off charges for one-way rentals and, likewise, 44% of respondents are assured waiver of add-on charges for one-way rentals
• Free delivery of vehicles to corporate headquarters or other office locations (41%) and city surcharges waivers (38%)
• Caveat: In order to secure commitments for discounts or concessions, forty-seven percent (47%) of survey respondents offer vendors guaranteed annual dollar volume, and an additional 16% provide exclusivity. One-fourth (24%) made no commitments in exchange for discounts.

By Sherryll Sobie

other articles in this section

The Waiting Game

Q&A with Suzanne Neufang, Executive Director, GBTA

By the Numbers

Keeping Corporate Data Safe

Are Your Female Business Travellers Safe on the Road?

Flight Turbulence

What’s your Data Plan?

Get it in Writing

Follow the money

In Harm’s Way

It’s all in the timing

Covering Trouble in Paradise

Flight Plan

For Safe Keeping

Smooth Moves

On the Safe Side

At Your Bleisure

Cover me!

Uber. Airbnb. Lyft…

Q&A with Anthony Pollard

Data Dilemma

Getting on track

So Long, Swipecards

Take your Best Shot

Benefits of Integrating Mobile Payment Platforms

Trend Setter, Dorothy Dowling

Newest Cloud Technology

Is it Time to Dust Off your Corporate Travel Policy?

The Future Travel Credit Management Solution

Planes, trains and data plans

When employees fall ill on the road

Burnout Busters

The Rules of Compliance

Communal Spaces Boost Hotels' Comfort Factor

Making the most of travel and expense management systems

May the Best Vendor Win

Evaluating disaster recovery plans

On the Road Again

Hotels Taking Wellness to a Whole New Level

Corporate Travel Tracker

Controlling Corporate Travel Costs

The Anti-stress List

The Blurred Line Between Corporate Travel Manager and Planner

Big Flight Discounts for Small Businesses

Are Business Travellers Putting Corporate Data at Risk?

Timesaving Mobile App for Superior Car Service

Company Car or Driver-owned?

10 Healthy Travel Tips

Navigating Emerging Markets

Business Travel Etiquette

Rogue Travellers on Spending Sprees!

Business Travel and Health

Social Media and Travel Programs

Baggage Handler Confidential

Travel Expense Reporting

Buses Mean Business

Travel Budgets Analyzed

Q+A with Ron DiLeo

Progressive Extended-Stay Programs

Dynamic Hotel Pricing

The Perfect Travel Management Company

The Kindest Cuts

Green Businesses

Travel Policy Compliance

Car Sharing: The leaner, greener choice!

Expense Accountability

Hotel Program Success

Costly Corporate Credit Card Programs

Travel Less, Save More?

Dynamic Pricing

Travel Program Success

Meetings Abroad: Are you Prepared?

Maneuvering Through the RFP Process

Cross-Border Air Travel

Time for a Travel Policy

10 Ways to Avoid Business Travel Pitfalls

Bargaining Table Car Rental Tips for Corporate Planners

Creating Travel Policy Compliance

Sustainable Travel Tips

Crucial Travel Policy Changes to Save Time and Money

Tipping Guide for Business Travellers

Corporate Travel Policy

Passport Essentials and Other Requirements

Managing your Company's Travel Risks

Duty of care to travellers goes beyond borders