The takeaway: Uber squeezes ahead of rental cars

Managing the impact of sharing economy suppliers on your program.

Bob Brindley, Advito vice president and principalBrindley_Bob_sitting

The news: For the first time ever, Uber rides outpaced car rentals on Certify corporate expense reports. As reported by Business Travel News, Uber accounted for 41% of fourth-quarter rides expensed through Certify; car rentals accounted for 39%. It’s the continuation of a trend: Uber surpassed taxis’ share of expensed rides for the first time in the second quarter of 2015, according to Certify data.

Advice for travel managers: Despite this news, Uber and its rival Lyft are much greater threats to taxis and “black car” limousine services than to rental cars. Business travelers who depend on rental cars are likely to continue using them. But travel managers should keep an eye on this trend. Uber and Lyft rides could eat away at the fringes of rental car spend, and that could affect a travel program’s negotiating position with rental car suppliers.

What this solidly signals is that it’s time for travel programs to give sharing economy services—for both transportation and accommodation—serious consideration. If your travelers increasingly are using services like Uber, go to the negotiating table. Ask for discounts and rebates, as well as central billing options. Central billing enables a travel program to capture use and spend data on sharing-economy services. That data furthers duty-of-care goals and enhances business intelligence needed for supplier negotiations and timely program adjustments.

Want to know more? Download The Sharing Economy: Does It Have a Place in Your Managed Travel Program? And ask your account manager how BCD Travel and Advito can help you gauge the benefits and risks of weaving sharing economy services into your corporate travel program.

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