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 with our services always within reach. In this new edition of “Alphabet around the world” our partners from Norway are here to guide you through their beautiful country and traffic. The stage is yours, Auto Plan!
Tell us a bit about your company, please. What makes you special?
Auto Plan is the one of the top 5 full-service leasing companies in Norway. We are a very “hands-on” team and passionate about helping our customers. As we are part of a larger Car Supplier Group, we have all the car knowledge you can wish for and will make sure you get the car that fits you best.
Driving like a local: your best tips
We’d like to see more of Norway! Can you recommend some nice spots in your area as a must-visit for drivers?
After a long winter, people of all age and background head outdoors to go trekking in the mountains, along the coast or in the forests. You are more than welcome to join us in what we call friluftsliv – our unashamed love for the outdoors. The varied scenery, from popular marked trails and tourist attractions to wild and untamed mythical landscapes, has earned Norway a well-deserved reputation as a major hiking destination in Europe. A few examples of classic (and challenging!) hiking routes are Preikestolen, Trolltunga, Galdhøpiggen, Besseggen, and Romsdalseggen.
In winter, we swap our hiking boots for skis to enjoy the snow-covered mountains. The Norwegian ski destinations have a great combination of beginner-friendly tracks and action-packed slopes – there’s something for everyone. The biggest sites are Norefjell and Hemsedal, both located approximately 2 hours from Oslo.
What is your best advice as a local on vehicles, traffic and general customs that you would give to a driver from abroad?
As the cost of buying and driving a car is comparatively high in Norway, electric cars are a good recommendation. They cost almost nothing in road tax, and the charging here is both cheap and good for the climate as the power is distributed from green hydropower plants.
What do drivers in your region attach particular importance to?
Most cars in Norway are very well equipped. Over 95 % of the cars have an automatic drive and more than half have 4-wheel drive. As Norway is a quite cold country, the “parking heater” system is very popular here.
The new normal: COVID-19 measures in Norway
How has the daily business changed for you since COVID-19?
The daily business situation has remained fairly normal for Auto Plan. The biggest problem we were faced with was that the delivery time from our car suppliers increased greatly. We are hoping that this will improve in 2021.
What special measures did you take to protect customers?
We provided the “pausing” of payments and also extending lease contracts to meet the longer delivery times.
Mobility trends: fleet development
Which partners are you currently working with (e.g. gas stations, repair shops etc)?
We are working with all the big standard service companies in Norway, like Shell, Cirkle K, and Esso. As there are a lot EV’s in Norway, we also provide charging solutions through e-on, both roadside and at home.
Which mobility services are the most important in your market?
Leasing can significantly decrease the costs of “owning” a car, so we feel that this is an option our customers especially value here in Norway. Renting is also in high demand, and Avis and Hertz are the biggest rental companies. They are in almost every small to large city in Norway. Car sharing, on the other hand, is not the biggest market, yet.
Our partners at Major Profi would like to know: How does the operational leasing product for individuals develop in your country? What trends do you see in this area?
In Norway, the main leasing solution for businesses has been operational lease for quite some time so it is well established, with around 100.000 company cars total in the market. We as Auto Plan provide around 8.000 of these cars. The main change we have seen over the last years is a boom in leasing for private costumers: around 25 % of cars used by private costumers are leased.
The next interviewee will be from our OneNet partner Auto Hellas in Greece. What would you like to ask them?
How is the shift to electric cars going in your country, and how does it affect your company?
Thank you for taking us through Norway. See you there soon!