Europcar is expanding in the land down under! The mobility and car rental company announced on July 26 the re-opening of three of its stations across Australia, including Coffs Harbour Airport in NSW and Brisbane City (within the Sofitel) in QLD, as well as brand new stations opening in Darwin City NT, Newcastle City NSW, Whyalla SA, and Pullman St Kilda VIC.
Europcar said the expansion will allow it greater network reach as well as wider fleet choice and accessibility for its customers as the tourism boom continues to bolster car rentals across both domestic and international business and leisure travelers.
Coffs Harbour Airport, Darwin City, and Brisbane City (Sofitel) stations are now back in operation. A large facility in Newcastle City will play an important role in helping grow the burgeoning needs of corporate customers in the NSW region, the announcement said. Pullman St Kilda station will allow an improved amenity for existing customers in Melbourne, as well as provide additional joint benefit for Accor's members and Europcar's Privilege members staying at the Pullman hotel.
With tourism set to continue its rebound throughout 2022 and into 2023, Europcar Mobility Group Australia Managing Director Benoit Garel said the new locations were identified and launched to keep up with this demand and stay ahead of the curve. “I’m thrilled to welcome back locations into operation and enhance our offering to our customers with upgraded facilities. These stations add to the Europcar network located across the breadth of Australia, meaning greater choice for our customers,” Garel said.
Europcar’s Expanding International Programs
As Europcar strengthens its presence in Australia, it also announced several new offerings set to roll out in the country, including subscription-based car hire, the digitization of the vehicle hire customer journey, and a carsharing pilot program.
The subscription-based model launching in Australia and New Zealand later this year is called myEuropcar. “Globally, we’re seeing the demand for vehicle subscription grow significantly, particularly in countries such as the U.K., USA, Germany, and France where the markets are more mature in this space,” Garel said. “Consumers are looking for greater flexibility in general, and a subscription model for vehicles provides this in an affordable and transparent way.”
myEuropcar was launched in Germany in December 2021 and saw over 500 participating subscribers within its first few months — with almost 30% opting for EVs. France went live in April 2022 and has several hundred subscribers as well. The myEuropcar customer booking experience is all online, with visibility on vehicle types, pricing, and the range of packages available.
Next year, Europcar plans to release a new carsharing product in Australia and New Zealand — another offering that previously launched in Europe. At the end of May 2022, it had taken close to 200,000 carsharing transactions with an average duration of use of 11 hours.
Similar to myEuropcar, the carsharing customer experience is totally digital, meaning consumers locate, book, pay, and gain access to the vehicles via a mobile app, Garel told Auto Rental News. “The product is designed primarily for city-dwellers to make use of a vehicle only when they require it for a matter of hours or days,” he explained. “Having such an offer again provides an alternative to vehicle ownership and is a solution improving overall utilization ... As opposed to a ride-share model, where the consumer is driven from point to point, carsharing is where the consumer drives the vehicle themselves.”