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Less-than-one-day rental vehicles offer on-demand service for agencies

Part of: All-of-Government Procurement news Contract update Vehicles

Options for hourly or part-day car hire have been increased with New Zealand Government Procurement (NZGP) launching less-than-one-day rentals as part of the All-of-Government rental vehicles contract.

Government agencies can now hire rental vehicles by the minute or hour, with increased access to low emission vehicles. This offers a cost effective, on-demand car hire option that is an alternative to using taxis or Ubers.

The contract gives agencies flexibility to book rental vehicles with the less than one-day provider that best meets their travel needs at any given time.

An example of how this service can work for an organisation is Meridian Energy. They have been using one of the providers, Mevo car share’s on-demand service, since 2018.

Procurement and Property Manager at Meridian Energy, Nick Robilliard, said as a mobility-as-a-service provider, Mevo operated electric vehicles which aligned with their strategy of electrifying and using low emissions transport for all of their business needs.

The second positive was its accessibility and as a taxi or Uber alternative.

It is an ‘on-demand’ service which takes some time to adjust to for users who may be used to pre-booking their travel. The reality is cars are always available, easily accessible and if plans change it is one less thing to cancel or re-organise.

Nick Robilliard  Procurement and Property Manager, Meridian Energy

“Billing is easy as it’s charged monthly not per transaction, which is helpful if you’re paying on a company card. Booking is almost exclusively driven via mobile for our users, the vehicles are safe and beautiful to drive.”

Meridian Energy found the cars are located close to their offices and vehicles could be used in Wellington and could be driven for the day to other locations like Palmerston North and Masterton for work meetings.

Nick Robilliard said the convenient locations have been further enhanced through a new pod location at Wellington airport and the transition to a free floating model throughout the Wellington CBD. The introduction of capped two-hour overnight also enables uplift at the end of the business day, travel to site the next day, and drop off when the user comes to work.

As with all change, early identification of the barriers is useful and Nick Robilliard recommends considering some elements as part of taking up this service. This includes:

  • User experience shift – some feel most comfortable ‘pre-booking’ short travel. One option is to get staff to try it just once and support the experience of uplifting and dropping off the rental vehicle anywhere in the CBD. For the airport, it is being crystal clear on where to uplift from and introducing users to the idea of opening the Mevo app as soon as they land to book a car. Then option B is using a taxi or an Uber.
  • Find the champions in your office who will try the service out and then tell their experiences to other staff about how easy it is to use.
  • Have accounts teams on board so they know about any changes to reconciliation if you’re ‘on account’. For users with p-card, show them how to retrieve the receipt for monthly recording.
  • Check Health and Safety policies internally and if required update those that relate to personal car usage and staff travel.

The less-than-one-day rentals, as part of the All-of-Government rental vehicles contract, provides initially for services in Auckland and Wellington, however as new providers and/or regions become available these will be added to this category.