Car rental 2 0 new alternatives to car ownership

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Promoting responsible road transport

Car Rental 2.0 New alternatives to car ownership

Luca Lytton Toby Poston November 2012

The BVRLA is the UK trade body for companies engaged in the leasing and rental of cars and commercial vehicles. Its members provide short-term rental, contract hire and fleet management services to corporate users and consumers. They operate a combined fleet of around 2.5 million cars, vans and trucks, buying nearly half of all new vehicles sold in the UK. Through its members and their customers, the BVRLA represents the interests of more than two million business car drivers and the millions of people who use a rental vehicle each year. As well as lobbying the government on key issues affecting the sector, the BVRLA regulates its members through a mandatory code of conduct.

The Royal Automobile Club Foundation for Motoring Ltd is a charity which explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and responsible road users. Independent and authoritative research, carried out for the public benefit, is central to the Foundation's activities.

RAC Foundation 89?91 Pall Mall London SW1Y 5HS

Tel no: 020 7747 3445

Registered Charity No. 1002705 November 2012 ? Copyright Royal Automobile Club Foundation for Motoring Ltd

Promoting responsible road transport

Car Rental 2.0 New alternatives to car ownership

Luca Lytton Toby Poston November 2012

About the Authors

Luca Lytton is Research Manager at the RAC Foundation, where he is responsible for the environmental research brief. He has written and projectmanaged reports on low-carbon vehicles, and has been involved in the Foundation's ongoing work on road pricing. He previously worked for a Member of the European Parliament in Brussels on the EU's CO2 emissions from cars regulation, as well as a policy think tank in Berlin, where he researched the EU's energy and climate change policy. Luca holds an MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation from the London School of Economics and a BA in European Studies from the University of Maastricht.

Toby Poston is Head of Communications at the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA). He is a seasoned communicator with over fifteen years' experience in journalism and corporate affairs gained working for the BBC and Europe's biggest B2B publisher. Toby joined the BVRLA in 2008 and is responsible for the association's internal and external communications. He has recently commissioned a series of major research projects into the sustainability credentials of the car rental industry.


The authors are grateful to Ivo Wengraf, Research Analyst at the RAC Foundation, and John Lewis, Chief Executive of the BVRLA, for their valuable comments.

We are also grateful to the following organisations for their contributions at our seminar held in July 2012 at the Royal Automobile Club:

Alphabet car2go Carplus Citee Cars City Car Club Commonwheels Department for Transport E-Car Club Enterprise Europcar Group UK Greenwheels Hertz on Demand Imperial College London

Liftshare London Borough of Hackney London Borough of Hackney London Borough of Hounslow London Councils Loughborough University Sixt Thrifty Transport for London Transport Research Laboratory University College London WhipCar Zipcar


Car Rental 2.0: New alternatives to car ownership


1. Car Rental 2.0


2.1 Barriers at the local level


2. Industry Challenges


2.2 Integrating with other modes of transport and the role of technology


2.3 Further challenges


3. The Potential of Pay-As-You-Go Motoring


3.1 Mobility and access


3.2 Environmental objectives and low-carbon vehicles


4. F uture Role of Government


4.1 Political leadership


4.2 Support from local authorities


5. Conclusion



Car Rental 2.0: New alternatives to car ownership

1.Car Rental 2.0

The car remains a vital part of the transport system, accounting for 64% of all trips made and 78% of distance travelled. In many parts of the UK, particularly in rural areas, it is difficult to complete an entire journey using only public transport. However, the remarkable rise in day-to-day costs of motoring, most notably fuel and insurance costs, is making it increasingly difficult for people to afford travel on Britain's roads.

There is no single solution to this problem, but a rapidly developing range of complementary pay-as-you-go motoring options is enabling motorists to give up their own cars and opt for cleaner, safer vehicles that are more appropriate for their journey needs.

There is a range of pay-as-you-go motoring options to choose from:1

? Car rental: this is the longest-established and most widely-used form of pay-as-you-go motoring. Car rental operators allow customers to hire a wide range of vehicles by the hour, day, week or month. Rental cars are hired from and returned to depots, usually in towns, cities and airport locations. Examples of car rental firms include Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Enterprise and Sixt.

? `Traditional' car clubs: this is a self-service car rental scheme in which members reserve a car on a short-term basis, usually in 30-minute increments. The rental fleet is dispersed in dedicated on- or off-street parking bays around the local area. Examples of traditional car clubs include Zipcar and City Car Club.

? One-way car clubs: these are operated in a similar way to traditional car clubs, but they allow subscribers to use cars for one-way journeys within a defined geographic area. Advance reservations are possible, but most use is spontaneous and customers pay by the minute only for the time they are using the car. Examples of one-way car clubs include BMW's DriveNow and Daimler's car2go.

1 Le Vine, S. (2012). Car Rental 2.0: Car Club Innovations and Why They Matter. RAC Foundation. Retrieved 13 September 2012 from assets/rac_foundation/content/ downloadables/car_rental_2.0-le_vine_jun12.pdf; .


Car Rental 2.0: New alternatives to car ownership

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