Business Travelers Told to Trim Expenses

Faced with a weakening economy, more companies are targeting travel and entertainment expenses USA Today reports.

Rental car companies are vulnerable to belt-tightening, even though contract rates are expected to climb by only about 2 percent this year, says Neil Abrams, president of industry tracker Abrams Consulting.

Companies are increasingly telling travelers to hire smaller cars or that they won't reimburse them for “bells and whistles,” such as navigation systems, he says.

They're also targeting unnecessary costs, such as the refueling bill when a car is returned with an empty tank. Car rental agencies charge as much as about $7 a gallon, which for a 20-gallon tank and thousands of rentals a year adds up.

Penny-pinching strategies vary. United Rentals, a publicly traded company based in Greenwich, Conn., with 11,000 employees, requires some travelers to obtain supervisors' approval before booking, says Megan Adams, United's purchasing chief. The new rule, implemented in January, will cut about 20 percent of their trips, she says.

According to USA Today, new travel policies and stricter enforcement will cause the average U.S. hotel occupancy rate to fall slightly to 62.6 percent this year vs. 63.2 percent in 2007, says Bjorn Hanson, chief lodging consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Max. 10000 characters)  
Please leave blank:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

 
 

Newsletter: Sign up to receive latest news, articles, and much more.

Read the latest

Auto Focus Blog: A blog covering fleets, auto rental and the business of cars

Safety Tech: Crash Avoidance or Sensory Overload?

As advanced safety technologies become even more pervasive on mainstream vehicles, are we creating “stupid drivers?"

Own the Fleet, Own the Future

In the dialogue surrounding new transportation paradigms, fleets have been off the public radar until recently. Here’s what’s going on, and a way for you to participate in the conversation.

Car Rental Rates Up, Fleet Sales Down — Correlation?

Car rental companies’ recent fleet discipline is needed now more than ever.

Job Finder: Access Top Talent. Fill Key Positions.

>