Renting business is already looking at the pandemic by the rearview

The long-term vehicle rental sector has not been alien, like almost none, for the purposes of the pandemic. However, it is already practically recovered and h

Renting business is already looking at the pandemic by the rearview

The long-term vehicle rental sector has not been alien, like almost none, for the purposes of the pandemic. However, it is already practically recovered and has resumed its cruise speed.

Two powerful factors corroborate the dynamism of this activity. On the one hand, the growing interest in the private vehicle (powered by the sanitary scenario and fear of contagion). On the other, the need for families and companies for ensuring liquidity in unforeseen situations, where the advantage of renting is again confirmed against the vehicle on property by offering mobility without compromising the budget.

In this sense, Bruno Mattucci, a maximum responsible for Nissan Iberia, explains that the renting moves tranquility to drivers, being cheaper than traditional purchase and offering the possibility of changing automobile without paperwork or arrangements. "The fact of renewing the vehicle every short time provides the feeling of brand new car more often, when, on many occasions, it is an experience that occurs very rarely in life," the Nissan manager argues.

Even though the Coronavirus has complicated things, the final balance for renting has not been entirely negative. "The behavior of the sector has been good, since it has maintained its growth trend and closed a third quarter of the year with a rise in the park of 5.04%, until exceeding 771,000 units, and 14.5% in number of Clients, who exceed 242,000, "explains José-Martín Castro, president of the Spanish Association of Vehicles Renting (AR).

From Santander Renting remember that long-term rent was already a more and more universal mobility mode before the pandemic, but "now it continues to grow and show its resilience and ability to connect with the new needs of customers."

A crisis of global impact

In effect, the health of the sector is good, but still collect issues linked to the pandemic, such as the semiconductor crisis, essential for the manufacture of the electronic components that are installed in the new vehicles. "The scarcity of these elements affects the availability of cars, regardless of the hiring modality," clarified since the Spanish Association of Leasing and Renting (AELR).

From this organism, they emphasize that the impact of this crisis in the segment of the industrial vehicle is especially remarkable, as well as that delays in deliveries are affecting a sector accustomed to having perfectly planned fleet renovations.

José Ramón Calvo, CEO of Alquiber, acknowledged that at this Renting firm they have been trying for the situation for months, it does not affect the business. "We are expanding the renewal of contracts, reinforcing the logistics area and playing with the diversity of our fleet to guarantee the service," explains the manager.

And they are not the only ones, because all the firms appreciate the effect of the semiconductor crisis, both in times of production and in the stock, causing delays between six months and one year to buy new vehicles.

You are even experiencing a demand never seen in the vehicle market of used. In this context, "Flexible Renting becomes the ideal option to access a vehicle," says Eduardo González de la Rocha, commercial director of Northgate Renting Flexible.

And despite the fact that delays in deliveries by the microchips crisis have been felt in enrollments, "it has been possible to grow by 29.91% until October with respect to the same period of 2020," they point out from the AER. In fact, progress is such that the weight of the renting has reached 24.8% of registered registrations until August 2021, a figure that was not expected before 2023.

In this sense, from Santander Renting confirms that the evolution of the sector is very positive: "Renting supposed 25% of car registrations last month and a year ago did not reach 20%, and autonomous profiles that More grow ".

Expectations for the coming months

The sector observes the future with optimism, since it expects to end 2021 with a park growth of 4% and an increase of more than 10% on customers. "We hope that enrollments grow, although it is discarded, at the moment, that exceed the 2019 record," warns from the AER.

Although the increase in registration tax could interfere with the rhythm of vehicle registration, this impact could be compensated with deliveries of delayed orders, which is expected that at the beginning of 2022 maintain a rhythm similar to that registered during the last months.

"We can not say that the pandemic has been responsible for the growth of the sector, but it has accelerated trends and placed the formula as a solution to the challenges of the new mobility," says Castro.

Proof of business dynamism recovered by the firms of the sector are the figures that Leaseplan has submitted, one of the main operators of the market. This company registered a net profit of 420.3 million in the third quarter of 2021, tripling the registered profits the same period of the previous year. "We are prepared for a new era of growth," says David Hense, Marketing Director of the firm in Spain.

Vehicles most demanded by long-term rental clients are cruising derivatives (similar to these, but used for the transport of goods), as well as the vans and the pick up (trucks). These modalities absorbed in October 30.84% of registrations. However, the segment that grows the most this year is that of cars, which has scoun 5% and suppose 24.93% of enrollments. By brands, Volkswagen, Peugeot and Renault are consolidated as the best selling.

For environmental sustainability

Regarding the most ecological models of the market (electric, hybrid and gas or hydrogen propelled), your interest between renting customers is growing. In October, 27.98% of the registrations of the sector, compared to 18.2% registered one year earlier.

In this field, WABI moves, a new flexible solution for subscription mobility, backed by Santander Consumer Finance. "We offer a new way of trying a car, especially undecided drivers looking for a more sustainable vehicle and want to check how it adapts to your needs," as they explain.

In the line of modernizing the fleet also points out the Moves III Plan, equipped with more than 400 million euros to finance the purchase of more sustainable models. "This will help the electrification of fleets, but new recharge infrastructures will continue to be promoted throughout the country," Alert Antonio Cruz, Assian Ald Automotive Department.

In search of chips 'made in spain'

This year 10 million vehicles less in the world will be manufactured due to the lack of semiconductors, calculates Ezequiel Navarro, responsible for the signing of electrical components Premo Group, supplier of large engine brands.

This global crisis, which also affects renting, not only implies a problem of manufacturing, but also a shortage of raw materials and suppliers. "Microelectronics is digital oil and challenge is to make universal and cheap high density chips," explains Navarro.

In Spain, a free architecture is working in Risc-V, with the aim of moving towards a kind of Linux of the microelectronics that allows a greater opening of the business and put an end to the problem.

Transportation produces more than 30% of CO2 emissions. Of these, 72% leave the roads. Reducing them by 60% is the objective of the EU for 2050, which implies disabling the park of tourism and light commercial vehicles.

The volume of electric vehicles in Renting accounts for 8% of the enrollments of the sector and 31.6% of the total number of electrified markets. Therefore, the electrification of business cars is key to meet the EU climate objectives.

According to the Road to COP26 report: the role of corporate fleets in climate change, from Leaseplan, six out of 10 new vehicles sold in Europe are corporate, corresponding 96% of these registrations to gasoline or diesel cars. This means that taking the jump to the electrical corporate fleets would be an essential step to reach zero emissions. For David Hense, director of Marketing and Communication from Leaseplan, "Companies have a small time window to electrify their fleets and help prevent the worst effects of climate change."

In addition, "Renting provides companies with the possibility of betting on the electrification of their fleets in a comfortable, simple and progressive way, adapting the percentage of electrification to their experience and needs", according to Bruno Mourgeon, Director of Fleets Sales of Renault Comercial Spain.

A slow but unstoppable trend

Marketing diesel cars, gasoline and hybrids will be prohibited in Spain from 2040, being pure electrical or fuel stack the only ones that can be launched on the market. Despite this, the high price of electrical - only 19% of Spanish households can afford to buy one - added to the insufficient network of recharge points on public road - where 70% of our country's cars are sleeping -, They are the reasons why these vehicles do not end up taking off.

Improve the recharge network is one of the objectives of Repsol. "We are working on a public recharge point deployment plan that involves having more than 1,000 quick recharge points at the end of 2022 or, which is the same, from one point every 50 kilometers," says Carlos Bermúdez, Commercial Manager of Repsol's electric mobility. This plan implies that the main corridors of the country will have recharging stations with at least one fast loading point and connectors compatible with any type of electric vehicle.

Currently, Repsol already manages one of the most important public networks in the country, formed by more than 350 points of which 70 can be found in its network of service stations and eight, fast cargo, at Lopidana (Álava) and Ugaldebieta (Biscay). In addition, it has installed more than 1,000 private scope terminals in companies and private houses.

Bermúdez considers that electrifying the automobile park requires a professionalization of the recharge infrastructure. Specifically, he considers fundamental to choose a strategic and accessible location 24 hours a day, endowed with adequate technology; A correct maintenance, since, "given the autonomy that the electric vehicles currently have, it can not be allowed to reach a recharge point and that does not work properly", and the possibility of paying with all kinds of tools.

Wallet applications

Repsol has an app to manage the recharge that already exceeds 2.7 million users in Spain has exceeded. "It allows locating the electrical recharge locations and reserving the desired point, as well as checking the status of it and accessing all the information related to availability, type of charge (normal, fast or ultra-fast) and connectors, among others".

In this sense, scanning also improves the experience of customers and about new generations to the sector. "Renting is a lower total cost of mobility, less risk and up to fewer CO2 emissions. The key is to offer an online service from start to finish," says Hense.

That is, precisely, the objective of Assistant, the application of Leaseplan. Through the voice, it allows the main procedures related to the vehicle, such as arranging appointments with the nearest workshop, making arrangements or asking for documentation, among others.

The rented rail bet for new technologies has contributed to the fact that the sector has the safest vehicles of the automotive park. Up to 85% of their cars get five stars into the rigorous Euroncap tests, which control the safety of the new units approved in the EU.

José Martín President of the Spanish Association of Vehicles Renting (AER), also indicates that "the connectivity of these vehicles makes them authentic data centers that contribute to increasing the productivity of mobility." But at the same time, he adds him, "demand greater protection, to avoid that these assets from entering at risk."

The truth is that the digital transformation of Renting has multiplied remote cybersecurity incidents. Already in 2019, the Upstream Security Global Automotive Cybersecurity Report slid that during the previous nine years there had been more than 170 cybersecurity incidents in companies in the sector.

The last of these reports, published this year, reveals that 33% of the attacks occurs through servers, which follow other entry doors such as keyless boot or mobile apps.

Telematics and cybersecurity

Telematics has meant a revolution for renting. In Alphabet, for example, they emphasize how their service based on this technology has helped them "identify accidents from sensors, since it detects accelerations and allows sending notifications to the contact of the company", in addition to obtaining other fundamental data of Fleets.

As Martin explains, the sector companies follow protocols and indications of experts in cybersecurity. For example, "tutela programs" that involve "periodic incident reviews of this type and control and homologation of the centers in which vehicles are intervened."

From the company Alquiber, it also highlight that its telematic device with geolocation service "is tunneled and securized so that the communication is made point-to-point and does not pass through intermediate servers." Access to this information on the part of users is also under ferre safety standards, "following the indications of external audits", which are key, since "the computer environment changes at high speed".

Given the growing effort of cybercriminals to access the data of these companies, these have not had more choice but to store them on servers with sufficient security measures, so as not to be attacked by a malware. In the case of Alquiber, this strategy is complemented by compliance with standards in its backup policies (backup copies) that allow them to recover, in case of loss, data provided by vehicles or any other source of information.

This situation also affects the comparators that offer renting services. Gerardo Cabañas, general manager of, explains that his company is forced to have an infrastructure "as perimeted as possible and platform according to high standards of implementation, both in the development of the security of the code and the configuration of the servers ".

Internet Risks of Things

The multiplication of devices connected to the Internet in renting vehicles is another vulnerability that the sector can not be ignored. According to Ivan Mateos, Sales Engineer from Sophos Iberia, many of these devices "incorporate passwords by default or software that can be patched". If a cybercinteller manages to enter a malware or open an entrance door to a device of this type or a router, "You can get quick access to servers, stored information or all endpoints".

In fact, he adds, many companies establish VPN connections with their suppliers, which gives advantage to hackers. For this reason, in Sophos they develop solutions such as XDR, "to visualize the entire environment, track, detect and analyze any suspicious behavior on these devices." Solutions that should be already part of the Renting DNA to protect their fleets and their clients not only on the road, but also on the network.

Changes in consumption habits also affect the business world. Traditional renting has experienced its greatest growth in recent years, when having property vehicles has ceased to be a priority for many people, and also for many companies.

Now, employees demand payment systems for tailor-use for their labor displacement, a model more than settled in large cities for particular drivers. This is one of the reasons why corporate car sharing is increasingly spread.

The results of the international macroencity carried out by the magazine Fleet Europe reflect this change of trend: 71% of the participants considers that it would be very beneficial for their companies to invest in shared mobility.

In response to this demand, projects such as Goto Business, the new service for companies in the Global Goto multinational. Basically, it consists of a corporate service similar to that which already existed for individuals: through a mobile application, workers can access a car fleet of cars, motorcycles and skateboards to move around the city, and cars and vans for long displacements .

Companies have full control of expenses through this platform. They may know at all times how many trips are made or the cost per displacement. "All expenses are still on a single invoice, which also offers tax benefits to companies," explains Marie Lindström, Country Manager of Goto Spain.

Attractive economic

Beyond adapting to the culture of payment for use, these services offer organizations other economic advantages. "Medium and large companies will notice much more economic benefit, not having to invest in insurance, maintenance and carcare or car parks," says Lindström. "The base price is greater than that of the particular renting, however, the company can save up to 40% of these usual costs," adds María Martínez, the Masqrent Director.

If from Goto they believe that these services can become a real competition for long-term rental, in MASQrenting bet on shared mobility as a complement to the lease of vehicles. Therefore, they continue to offer both services.

Other companies such as Santander Consumer Finance have moved many of the advantages of conventional rental mobility. Thus, WABI arises, a service that is managed through an app, which includes in a single monthly fee all expenses associated with the vehicle, such as insurance or maintenance. At the moment it is only available for autonomous and individuals, although Santander's intention is to extend it to the business world.

"It differs especially from the renting in which it is not necessary to sign a permanence contract that binds the client for several months," explains from Santander Consumer Finance. "In addition, it allows changing vehicles at any time through the mobile application," add.

An upward trend

The radical turn in the consumption habits propitiated by the subscription payment boom, together with the existing uncertainty regarding the life that is left to the combustion engines, the market begins in favor of these shared mobility services. That companies are now a potential customer can facilitate their arrival at nuclei of non-great population.

The number of companies is one of the criteria that Goto takes into account when choosing cities in which to start operating. Although, as Lindström says, it is not the only one, since issues such as "demand, legislation, infrastructure or economy of the area" are also valued.

Date Of Update: 26 November 2021, 20:13

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