Europcar, Hertz and other Australian-based rental companies have joined with the Australian Fleet Lessors Association (AFLA) to better represent Australia’s rental vehicle industry.
Among its first priorities, there will be a push for an agreed level of self-regulation that drives higher standards, greater transparency and better outcomes for customers, according to Europcar.
Ron Santiago, managing director for Europcar Australia and New Zealand, started discussions with AFLA earlier this year, approaching competitors to become involved, after becoming frustrated with the lack of formal industry leadership to tackle issues impacting all industry players.
AFLA was identified as a natural partner due to the common challenges faced by both rental vehicle companies and fleet leasing companies, such as registration and import tax and duties, according to Europcar.
“Combined with AFLA, the vehicle rental industry now has a much larger voice,” said Santiago. “Together, we have a big car park and can make a real difference to issues that affect this industry, while also driving better industry standards for customers. “We need simplification, less red tape and a removal of unnecessary bureaucracy. We will be seeking national registration and fairer treatment.”
Currently, car rentals are lumped into the same registration category as taxis, which increases the cost of a company’s hire fleet and is ultimately passed onto the customer. The new body hopes to change this, arguing that taxis are on our roads 24 hours a day, while rental vehicles are used less frequently and usually parked overnight.
“The formation of this body is an exciting development for our industry, and we hope results in positive change for customers, companies and the thousands of people employed by the rental and leasing industry,” added Santiago.