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The benefit to business in complete fleet flexibility cannot be overstated as private and business customers require more adaptability in the UK’s fast-changing economic climate, says Thrifty Car & Van Rental.

As proof of this statement, Thrifty revealed a 50% increase year-on-year in the number of rentals made via its flexible private and corporate rental service, FlexiFleet, since the first lockdown period was eased.

FlexiFleet was designed to offer vehicle rental to private customers and businesses for as little as one month on a fully maintained basis and then after six months, the ability to swap into a brand-new vehicle. The company has also replaced the typical upfront commitment to access the vehicle with a fully refundable deposit in an effort to aid the customer’s liquidity.

Martin Wilson (pictured above), managing director of Thrifty Car & Van Rental, explained: “The FlexiFleet product is exactly what is required in the current unsettled circumstances and while lockdown 2.0 will see many home-working, for others there will still be the requirement to work at the office or to make site visits.

"For individuals not wishing to use public transport but understandably unwilling to enter into a long-term commitment for a car, then FlexiFleet is increasingly suitable for them. It enables businesses to keep staff mobile and stay compliant in a fully maintained vehicle. When the vehicle is no longer required, they simply return it.”

Under the service, users have access to a wide range of vehicles from as small as a Ford Fiesta or BMW M5 to as big as a multi-seat people mover or Transit Van.

For a 30-year-old to rent a ‘compact vehicle’ such as a Ford Fiesta for one month through the FlexiFleet service, it would cost £295+VAT. In comparison, for the same person to rent a ‘luxury auto’ such as a BMW 520 for one month it would cost £600+VAT. Finally, a ‘9 seat people carrier’ such as a Ford Transit Custom Tourneo would cost £560+VAT.

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Reflecting on the first 10 months of 2020, Roger Hancock (pictured above), executive chairman of Thrifty, said: “Like many businesses feeling the strain of the pandemic, we have taken some difficult decisions to ensure the company was stable and better equipped to meet the new challenges presented by such a complex economic climate. We are all some way from discovering what the ‘new normal’ really looks like but we have put ourselves in a robust and extremely sustainable place to meet the inevitable challenges ahead.

“We’ve certainly felt the pain, but as our focus here in the UK has been and remains the domestic corporate market and the flexi-fleet sector rather than inbound, airport-based business, the restrictions have lessened the impact on our bottom line.

“While Thrifty has managed the adverse circumstances of the pandemic, it is now planning for future opportunities. We are currently developing our charging infrastructure to reflect the growth in electric vehicle demand and have also recently launched our new logistics technology to allow driver tracking and increase the operational efficiencies for our customers.”

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