Practical Car & Van Rental has partnered with vehicle-to-business technology provider, In-Car Cleverness (ICC) to make ICC’s advanced, feature-rich product available to Practical’s 130 franchisees, who collectively operate around 7,000 cars and vans in the UK.
Developed over 250 million miles of real-world testing and designed to be offered as an entirely scalable telematics solution, the In-Car Cleverness platform allows users to personalise the easy-to-use dashboard interface, tailor the data interrogated and define how it is analysed.
As well as analysing driver behaviour during rentals, customers will benefit from asset protection in terms of tracing fleet vehicles, advanced remote vehicle fault alerts, totally accurate mileage recording and a cutting-edge incident reconstruction system.
Practical Managing Director, Graham Lond, said:
“We feel the adoption of this solution by the network can only add value to our business model, will undoubtedly result in cost savings due to better vehicle management and protection and will give us more ammunition to keep insurance costs at a low level.”
Although this system will partly be used for asset management purposes, it’s interesting to see that Practical also appears to be planning to use the system to monitor drivers’ behaviour. As far as I know, using telematics is unusual in rental cars and vans, as the drivers are usually employed by someone else and are not directly accountable — or managed — by the rental firm.
Tim Eaves, ICC Commercial Director, believes this is a positive for rental firms:
“Whereas fleet operators know their drivers and can offer training and advice if the behaviour of individuals behind the wheel is costing them money, rental companies typically know nothing about the people driving their vehicles.
“That’s where the asset protection benefits of ICC come into their own – being able to see where their vehicles are, how they are being driven and exactly who is liable after an accident will save Practical money in insurance costs alone.”
Although most corporate rental customers will probably welcome this development, I wonder whether it migith be a culture shock for some drivers, who will be accustomed to a certain sense of anonymity and lack of direct responsibility when driving rental vehicles.
Although take-up will be optional, Practical expects the majority of its network to take up the ICC proposition, as it will complement Practical’s fleet insurance option, which is used by 95% of franchisees. Using both services is expected to help cut insurance costs for franchisees.