Globalisation has opened borders, markets and doors for great business opportunities. We want you to be able to seize them all and feel at home in the world. High quality business mobility does play an important role in that – if you can’t get there you can‘t seal the deal, can you? Thankfully, you can rely on the consistently good Alphabet service in 31 countries already and more are added each year. In 16 of those we partnered up with some local specialists, our network we call the Alphabet OneNet. To show you, who you are quite literally dealing with, we have asked our partners to reveal a bit about themselves, their current situation and provide you with some local driving and sightseeing tips. First off is AVIS Fleet Solutions from Ireland. Dia Daoibh, AVIS!
Please tell us a few things about your company. What makes AVIS Fleet Solution special?
AVIS Fleet Solutions has a long history in Ireland. Established in 1966 as the pioneer of contract hire in Ireland, we have built up extensive knowledge and expertise in the provision of leasing and fleet management solutions. Today, we are at the forefront of industry innovations and technology, making us Ireland’s leading independent vehicle leasing and fleet management providers. Our business is renowned for its personal customer approach providing customised solutions for businesses of all sizes.
Driving like a local: your best tips
When driving in Ireland, what is your best advice on vehicles, traffic and general customs?
Make sure you drive on the correct side of the road! It’s easy to forget to keep left if you are not used to it. It is also important to listen to local weather and traffic reports regularly as Ireland is known for having four seasons of weather in just one day. It’s quite impressive, actually. Please pay attention to the weather warnings alerting drivers of unsafe and dangerous driving conditions. Oh, and never drive through a flooded road – you never know where a devious and devastating pothole is lurking beneath!
Tell us a bit more on the Irish way of driving. What do drivers in your region attach particular importance to?
Our drivers are discerning and know their comforts, often opting for as many additional options as possible. And we are of course happy to provide them. The most common vehicle accessories for drivers include air conditioning and heated leather seats. Petrol and diesel powertrains are still the most popular vehicles but there has been a gradual shift towards alternative powertrain vehicles, such as HEV and BEV, in recent years.
Business aside, what are some must-sees you can recommend in Ireland?
Without doubt, driving the Wild Atlantic Way! The coastal 2,500 km drive runs from Donegal to Kinsale is the ultimate Irish road trip with 15 signature discovery points along the way. See dinosaur footprints on Valentia Island, take a ride in Irelands only cable car, visiting the Skelligs is a must-do for all Star Wars fans, and take in breathtaking views as you drive the route.
The new normal: COVID-19 measures in Ireland
How has the daily business changed for you since COVID-19?
COVID-19 has had a profound impact on all our daily lives. As a business, we needed to adapt and change our ways of working to ensure the health and safety of our staff and customers whilst still providing a quality service to our customers. These changes included moving from physical to virtual meetings with our customers and suppliers, digitizing our processes across all touchpoints and improving staff morale through socially distant activities e.g. office virtual quiz.
What special measures did you take to protect customers?
Following guidance from the WHO, Irish Government and Irish motor representative body, we have introduced a number of measures to keep our customers and employees safe. Some of these measures include:
- We have enhanced our already robust cleaning techniques of our vehicles. In particular paying special attention to the touch points such as steering wheels, door handles and other hard surfaces.
- Ensuring all vehicles are sanitized on arrival and prior to delivery/collection.
- We are also cleaning our facilities frequently with recommended sanitising products and employees are to be vigilant about frequent hand washing.
- We are taking steps to ensure the welfare of all our employees. This includes strictly instructing employees that feel ill to stay at home and consult their healthcare providers.
- We have implemented a new contactless key collect and drop off service.
- Our employees adhere to strict social distancing and PPE guidelines.
Which partners are you currently working with to keep fleets moving in these times?
We work with a network of 500 nationwide partners that cater to our customers’ fleet needs. Those are for example authorised maintenance departments, tyre depots and fuel forecourt’s.
Mobility trends: fleet development
What are the focus topics for fleet development in your country?
The Irish mobility services market is still in its infancy. There are a number of small players in the car-sharing market that have grown their presence, primarily in main cities such as Dublin & Cork, in recent years. Despite this growth, private individuals and corporate customers still favour vehicle ownership and leasing as their mobility preferences.
The Irish Government ‘s Climate Action Plan aims to have approximately 1 million electric vehicles on the Irish road’s by 2030. In order to increase the growth of the EV’s, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is providing grants of up to €5,000 for new vehicles and there is a further tax relief of between €2,500 to €5,000. This saving is taken off the original price of a car and passed directly onto the AVIS Fleet Solutions customers to help promote EV sales and Leases.
Despite the introduction of grant and relief schemes encouraging consumers to choose electric, there are a number of barriers to achieving this ambitious target such as lack of infrastructure and high new vehicle registration taxation system. Representative motor and vehicle leasing bodies, such as the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) and Vehicle Leasing Association of Ireland (VLAI), have lobbied Government officials for more favourable tax incentives that promote the growth of HEV and EV for corporate customers. Unfortunately, our recommendations made have not been forthcoming but AVIS Fleet Solutions remain committed to accelerating the growth of HEV’s and EV’s within the Irish market.
The next interviewee will be from our OneNet partner Business Lease (markets CZ, HU, RO, SK). What would you like to ask them?
Do you see any future trends developing in the leasing industry in your markets?
Thank you so much for your insights on Irish mobility. Slán go fóill, see you in Ireland!
Next up in our Alphabet OneNet series is Business Lease. Stay tuned.