The MacNair Travel Leadership Blog

How Managed Travel Can Reduce Costs When Working with Car Rental Firms

Posted by Mike MacNair on Jun 21, 2016 12:00:00 PM

How Managed Travel Can Reduce Costs When Working with Car Rental FirmsWith the increased competition from Uber and Lyft, many car rental companies have raised their prices. Yet, are they offering you more? If your top travelers are paying more for the same service, it could be a sign that it’s time to review your preferred suppliers and determine your true travel needs.

For example, how often does your company rent cars? What types of cars do they usually rent? Do your travelers typically put a lot of miles on the rental or is it used for short distance travel? What types of upgrades are permissible within your travel policy? What type of supplementary insurance is necessary?

All of these are areas in which a TMC can help you gather data and make comparisons with your industry peers so that you have the best information to remain competitive.

It’s true that increased car rental prices aren’t as large of an expense as airline tickets with ancillary fees, but unnecessary and unauthorized charges here can mean a difference of thousands of dollars annually on your bottom line.

In fact, Business Travel News Index 2015 reports that car rental often amounts to 15% of business travel spending. Is your company getting the best deals? Does your travel policy clearly outline insurance, options and preferred suppliers or do your travelers routinely book out of policy?

If you’re a CFO or a travel manager, you realize there can be tens of thousands of dollars of “lost” expenses each year due to inefficient processes and lack of compliance among your frequent travelers. Gaining more insight into the true costs of car rental is one way you can get a better handle on those costs.

Depending on where your travelers are heading, they may not need a rental car at all. A taxi or Uber may turn out to be more efficient and also cheaper than paying hotel garage fees. You can read about some additional tips for reducing rental car fees here.

How To Negotiate a Better Rate for Your Managed Travel Program

As mentioned above, you’ll want to start with an assessment of your current travel program to gather the data on typical car rental usage and any correlating patterns. Survey your top travelers as well as less frequent travelers to get input at different levels.

You’ll want to include information on the current payment processes and procedures for booking and approvals. Next, you can develop a strategy for negotiation and comparison in order to prepare an RFP.

Many companies turn to TMC’s (Travel Management Companies) that specialize in reducing travel expenses and streamlining travel processes for companies. Not only can they provide insight into industry trends, they can also recommend specific vendors that best meet the needs of your company and then negotiate a great rate for you.

A great TMC can also help you choose and implement travel management software that meets the needs of your managed travel program.

When you manage your travel program, you have insight into how your travelers truly use it. Updating your travel policy to meet the needs of your employees and making it easy for them to comply with, can add tens of thousands of dollars to your bottom line in saved T&E expenses.

It starts with assessing your current travel policy and the needs of your travelers. What do they need most when it comes to transportation? Then ask, what does your company need most when it comes to how your employees use rental cars or alternative transportation during travel? Now to align the two! Download our Travel Needs Assessment Checklist to get started.

Managed Travel Needs Assessment Checklist 


Topics: Managed Travel