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19/01/2018
CAR SHARING THE FUTURE OF CORPORATE FLEETS

The car market in Italy

Reduces mobility costs optimizing vehicle usage in corporate fleets. This is why many long-term rental companies have updated their offer with new solutions.

 

Marco Catino - L'imprenditore

2016 was a year of great developments for car-sharing schemes, not only for the business itself, but also for the number of operators now on the market. At the end of the year, the now numerous companies offering car-sharing services recorded, as a whole, over one million registered users (1,080,000), with over 6.2 million rentals; impressive numbers indeed, and a true testimony to the vitality of a sector undergoing great changes and experiencing an unprecedented expansion, especially when compared to 2015: + 70% registered users, + 33% on fleets and rentals. According to the study "Car Sharing in Italy: tactical solution or strategic alternative?", developed by Aniasa, the National Association of Car Rental and Automotive Services, in partnership with Bain & Company, a management consulting firm, thanks to car-sharing programs almost two out of ten motorists have already forfeited car ownership, given the higher operating costs compared to car-sharing, on average annual trips of up to 8,300 km/year for a medium-sized car. The study shows how over half of the users are now choosing to travel using vehicles shared with one or more people, further reducing costs and effectively removing up to nine private vehicles from the road. But the success of this formula doesn’t end there. Car-sharing is proving to be a strategic solution for medium-large urban centres as well as business mobility. Several long-term rental companies have now introduced these services, albeit in different ways. In order to better understand the mobility needs of each individual company, real audits are carried out first, to identify the specific needs and the most appropriate car-sharing solutions for the fleet in question. Once the service is activated, employees can book their cars by accessing an online platform through a few simple steps, renting them both for business trips and for leisure (i.e. in the evening after work and /or at the weekend). According to a number of operators in the sector, company car-sharing services guarantees a "20% corporate mobility cost reduction", optimizing vehicle usage thus reducing travelling expenses. These data are confirmed by the "Corporate Fleets 2016" study, promoted by Top Thousand, an observatory on business mobility sponsored by fleet and mobility managers of large national and multinational companies. The analysis shows how new forms of shared mobility policies are making their way in the corporate fleet sector: 20% of the companies interviewed already make car-sharing services available to their staff, while almost 50% make regular use of these services for business.

A constantly changing scenario that is starting to transform the concept of urban mobility itself, and not only, called upon now to tackle rigid bureaucratic processes that could somehow negatively affect such a highly dynamic market. "First, we need a definite legal definition of what is to be considered “car-sharing”, which is currently lacking, as well as a single legislative framework for public and private operators, currently forced to deal with different regulations in different cities, with the obvious confusion that this entails, especially when a client is travelling to another location," points out Andrea Cardinali, president of Aniasa, who adds: "Infrastructure upgrading is likewise required, including, among other things, dedicated parking lots and intermodal facilities near railway and underground stations, shopping centres, universities and hospitals: real 'mobility islands' where users can easily access different means of transportation.”

 

WHO’S AFRAID OF THE ‘BLACK BOX’?

The spread of on-board electronic devices on company cars keeps increasing: they facilitate management, improve safety and reduce costs. Many large companies are now relying on solutions offered by rentals (41% of the sample), while only 3% develop dedicated "in-house" solutions; all the others make use of external service providers. Almost 60% of the managers of large car fleets are considering increasing their “intelligence” assets. This is what emerges from a study entitled "IT devices on-board corporate fleets", promoted by the Top Thousand observatory. The research took into consideration a sample of 60 large corporate fleets in different sectors, for a total of over 53 thousand vehicles. "From the study - says the president Riccardo Vitelli – what emerges is how corporate fleet managers are insisting on a 'soft' approach towards the digital revolution destined to radically change the way company vehicles will be used and managed. Driver safety and vehicle protection are the two guiding principles behind the spread of on-board ‘black boxes’."

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