Many people have already managed to forget about the pandemic that gripped the world and changed its order at least for a while, but its effects are still felt in some places. Because of the shortage of semiconductors that started during the virus frenzy, the new car market is still not recovering, so those who want to renew their fleet often have to wait six months, a year or even more for a new vehicle.
It is true that there are situations when such a waiting time is unacceptable for very objective reasons – for many businesses, the above-mentioned situation can mean lost or unearned profit or great inconvenience. No wonder companies started looking for other solutions.
The car market does not smell of optimism
The global auto market is still timid about recovering from supply stagnation. Not much better mood prevails in Lithuania. Dainius Leonavičius, a member of the “Lithuanian Car of the Year” competition commission, says that, speaking with representatives of car manufacturers, he does not feel optimistic yet.
“I talked to the director of one salon: he was not very enthusiastic about the supply issue. Half a year ago, many of the sellers had 7-9 months. was not a bad term at all. For some, it was completely curly, so they wrote 18 months in the contract. delivery time, although in reality the cars usually arrived sooner. But still, even a year is a long time.
Another thing is that many sellers have cars with a specific configuration somewhere in European warehouses. So, if the customer is missing a slot, he does not need a certain set, he can actually buy the desired model faster,” says the interviewer.
Reflecting on the differences between private and business customers in this situation, D. Leonavičius notes that it is easier for private buyers, as the latter are more inclined to compromise.
“That’s why it’s easier for them to buy a car similar to what they want. In turn, certain components of a set are important for business, so maybe it is more difficult for entrepreneurs to find the desired option in warehouses. Especially if you need not just one car, but the whole lot,” he notes.
With such market conditions, the business began to look for other solutions in order to run its activities as smoothly as possible. Among such alternatives can be classified as long-term car rental for business.
One of the new examples in Lithuania – WeFleet, a company operating here, offers a car rental service with a season ticket for businesses. After signing the contract, the car can be in the company’s yard the very next day. What’s more, the selection of cars offered to customers is carried out especially carefully, so a wide range of companies can find the right model for their individual needs.
Naturally, the pandemic affected not only car delivery times, thus leading to shortages in the market, but also vehicle prices. Although experts note that price growth is slowing down a little, they are still high: in the fourth quarter of 2020 quarter, compared to the same period in 2021, the average price of a new car jumped by 11.3 percent, and in 2022 the price increase reached 7 percent.
“I don’t think that prices will fall in the near future, because the shortage of chips and other components for complete cars is still felt, new factories for such parts will not be built in the next six months or a year, so the problem will not disappear soon. China, as the largest supplier of such parts, is also not extricating itself from the grip of COVID-19, and when it does, the production and supply chains will not really recover any time soon.
On the other hand, prices have always risen, although not as much as in the past few years. With each new model, the price keeps going up. In addition, the pollution requirements and regulations of the European Union will also constantly increase the prices of new cars – investments in less polluting cars have never contributed to the decline in prices”, D. Leonavičius shares his insights.
In such a situation, according to the interlocutor, various stories about the fact that the seller does not guarantee that the car delivered a year later will cost the same as it cost on the day of the order are increasingly common in the market. This often becomes another reason why companies choose long-term car rental for business when filling their fleet.
In this case, car rental with a subscription allows companies to know in advance each month’s expenses for the vehicle. For example, the monthly WeFleet fee includes everything you need to run your car on a daily basis: insurance, seasonal tires, maintenance, etc. As a result, companies using this service avoid unexpected costs when the price of cars unexpectedly inflates.
Another important criterion for business is that long-term car rental with a season ticket allows companies whose activity depends on the time of year to use their resources more efficiently. Due to the possibility of ordering a car for a flexible period and exchanging it for another one if necessary, this service helps to solve more than just the issue of quickly acquiring a vehicle.