The company that would go on to become Europcar – starting in 1949 as ‘L’Abonnement Automobile’ and two years later re-named Europcars (the ‘s’ was dropped in 1974) – has a long and productive history not just with travellers but travel agents too. It’s now Europe’s leading vehicle rental firm, says Marcus Bernhardt, Europcar Group Chief Commercial Officer, in this edition of Friday 5.
1. When it comes time to suggesting a car rental company to their clients, why should travel agents recommend Europcar?
“With over 60 years’ experience and around 5.5 million drivers in 2015, Europcar is a major mobility player and Europe’s leading vehicle rental firm. The group’s network provides short- and medium-term vehicle rental solutions for its customers. With an average fleet of 200,000 vehicles, the group applies its extensive knowledge of the vehicle rental sector to provide its business and leisure customers with a wide range of mobility solutions.”
2. How big is Europcar’s network?
“Our company is present in 140 countries, including nine ‘corporate’ countries that we operate directly (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal Australia and New-Zealand), and the rest through a vast network of franchises and partnerships with GSAs. The Group relies on a strong sales and marketing force deployed locally, with a strong knowledge of local market, and coordinated at group level. We also have completed our offer with our low-cost company InterRent, present in 40 countries.”
3. What is the scope of Europcar’s service, in terms of the wide range of rentals that it offers, and durations, and flexibility with pick-ups and drop-offs?
“Europcar offers mobility solutions ranging from short-term vehicle rental to car sharing. Europcar offers a wide variety of recent models of passenger cars, vans and trucks for rental on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis, with rental charges computed on a limited or unlimited mileage rate. Europcar also develops and progressively roll out new mobility products and services.”
4. Have rental car bookings become more complex over the years, and can Europcar help guide agents through the booking process?
“We provide agents with different booking tools including Click4wheels (our in-house B2B booking tools for travel agents) and try to be as transparent as possible with agents to make their life easier. The objective is to simplify the booking process with online booking solutions and also simplify the offers/products (for example, with our new insurance packages ‘Basic, Medium & Premium’). Our Click4wheels booking solution, dedicated to agents, is Fast (booking in a few clicks), Flexible (allowing agents to duplicate, modify or cancel existing bookings) and Smart (offering capacity to save or send quotations, manage mark-up or fees and provides detailed reporting).”
5. Do you have any promotions for agents in the market right now?
“Yes, we are pleased to provide our travel agent partners with a 20% discount on the best available rates. Please visit europcar4agents.com for more details.”