By partnering with U.K.-based White Clarke Automotive Solutions, Kia will launch a pilot car rental program at several dealerships in the first-half of 2014. Participating dealers will allocate between 10 to 20 vehicles to the rental fleet.
White Clarke, which coordinates other dealerships’ rental schemes like Ford’s, will provide the technology and support for Kia’s program, says the company.
“We provide the people, the system and the centralized billing to give an end-to-end dealer-based rental solution,” said Pam Halliday, sales director at White Clarke. “It’s a great way of getting people into dealerships and essentially gives you a paid for test drive.”
Additionally, White Clarke will help confirm competitive rates by conducting market research to determine rental rates for local dealerships, says the company.
If the program is successful, Kia plans to expand it.
“It’s hard to quantify, but we would expect a positive effect in terms of retail and fleet market share as a result of the positive test drive effect,” said John Hargreaves, head of fleet and remarketing at Kia. “It will also increase the choice of own brand replacements when vehicles are off the road and offer dealers an additional profit opportunity. In addition, it will offer local customers an alternative to the traditional rental companies for small volumes of rental vehicles.”