For Fleet News Group’s first podcast for 2024, host Caroline Falls talks with Chris Noone, CEO of car subscription provider Carly.
“If we take a hypothetical example a fleet manager may own or lease 100 vehicles, but at certain points of the year, they might might need 120 vehicles or they could be subscription vehicles. And so they can make really smart decisions about how to get the most cost effective use of their capital. And then when they do have shorter term requirements for vehicles, they can get them within about two days notice. So the whole concept of sustainability has been baked into our business right from early on, even before we started talking about a lot of the environmental and technological changes that are happening.”
As it’s the season for forecasts and looking at what’s ahead, Noone was asked for his thoughts on how fleets are increasingly adopting sustainability measures including Carly subscription, electric power trains and technology to reduce their carbon footprint.
“We think that car subscription is a great way of achieving some of those carbon abatement aims, because you’re only securing the vehicles for the time that you need them.
“Under our model, we see that the fleet managers dream is that they always have an empty car park. That means that they don’t have any under-utilised vehicles just sitting there wasting money. So the car subscription model can help them in that.
“The other part that can help them is the transition to electric vehicles as well. But it’s about making an informed transition to those vehicles. It’s a big waste of money if you make the mistakes, if they’re not going to be fit for purpose, if they’re not going to save money, and they’re not going to create a positive environmental impact either. So being able to trial electric vehicle really gives fleet managers the opportunity to make sure that they’re getting the right vehicles for their own purposes. And once they’ve trialled it through subscription, they can then scale up through either subscription or other means as well.
“I think what’s also important and a lot of people recognise this is access to data. We have telematics devices in each of our vehicles. So we can provide a lot of data about usage of vehicles, about driving behaviour, but also the distance travelled and how much a vehicle is being utilised as well. So going forward, we’re looking to utilise a lot more of that data for the benefit of our customers to ensure that they’re getting even more value for the vehicles. And that can also have some positive environmental impacts as well.
Carly evolved in 2019 out of a rental vehicle business Drive My Car that utilised cars from used car sales lots, leasing companies, car manufacturers, fleets and others who had vehicles sitting around.
They went from an average rental period of 38 days, to an average subscription period of more than five months.
“We found that in the car subscription model, we found a much better niche in the market, a niche in the market where we saw that there was a lot of unmet demand,” said Noone.