There’s a new kid on the block in the car hire scene. Abigail Healy asks BSP Autos’ new UK sales director Stephen Joyner why agents should have the brand on their radars
BSP Autos is a popular brand name throughout continental Europe, in countries such as France and Germany as well as in the US, but now there are plans to bring it to market here in the UK.
Stephen Joyner, UK sales director, explains that understanding what is behind its success in Europe has been crucial to positioning it correctly for the UK market. And by replicating this model, with a few tweaks, it is poised for success here too.
He is quick to point out that car rental “is not a sexy product – it’s an essential by-product; everyone needs it”.
“In a world where service is everything, and with a product that has had its own bad press over the years and which most agents think of like Marmite (they either love or hate selling car hire), we are not suggesting we can change the car broker model dramatically,” he says.
“The cars are the cars that come from pretty much the same supplier pool – but we have contracts with them all, which many brokers don’t. What we can do is provide a broader scope of premium brands and local rental suppliers with a better booking engine, creating a platform that gives agents more control and rates that put them in the driving seat to quickly offer, book and manage bookings simply and efficiently.”
It’s big talk, but what are the USPs of this new entrant to the sector? Joyner asserts that, first and foremost, it’s about simplicity of booking and personalisation.
“Our key aim is to provide a more tailored approach to each individual business’s needs with the benefit of making life easier,” he says.
“We can and have created bespoke portals for our UK clients – tailoring our white labels and even the agent login portal with their own most popular destinations, turning on or off specific suppliers or customer reviews, offering unique negotiated rates for specific locations to include collection/delivery to hotels and villas, and free additional drivers.”
Joyner explains booking with BSP is a user-friendly process and agents can manage their own car rental business simply – with facilities to search, book, print or send voucher confirmations, send quotes, cancel, or review monthly booking reports. BSP also offers free amendments, free cancellation up to 24 hours prior to travel and out-of-office hours assistance, with calls for the UK transferring to the US reservations team out of hours.
Other key selling points include the fact that while some car hire brokers don’t cover all of the top suppliers, BSP Autos offers all the key international brands such as Alamo, Sixt, Enterprise, Thrifty, Avis, Budget, Europcar, and Hertz. Joyner adds: “BSP dominates the French market and, given our turnover is over €100 million, our buying power is strong, meaning we have better rates than competitors in almost every location offered, giving agents better selling rates without impacting commission.”
Insurance can often be a pitfall when it comes to car hire. Joyner explains that BSP offers a fully-inclusive car rental product with no hidden extras and includes excess refund cover underwritten by Allianz rather than brokers self insuring.
“This gives your clients peace of mind that if vehicle damage occurs through no fault of the client and isn’t covered in the standard policy, the client can claim the excess deposit back through the insurance company,” he explains.
And, of course, in a busy marketplace, agent rewards and incentives are an important factor.
“Through Amazon corporate, we are able to offer e-gift vouchers, which are automatically sent direct to the agent each month, so there’s no need for agents to spend time filling in forms to claim booking rewards or vouchers getting lost in the post. It frees up more time for the agent to get on with serving the customer and day-to-day business needs. It’s a win-win scenario,” Joyner asserts.
It might not be sexy, but for agents looking for convenience, ease and a good return on car hire bookings, BSP Autos is one to watch.