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When it comes to business travel, safety is vital. However, with the recent rise of budget car sharing services, how can you genuinely guarantee your safety and that of your employees?
What is car sharing?
Car sharing offers an alternative to taxi or chauffeur services. Car sharing services like Uber X and Lyft are able to operate at a cheaper price point as they promote themselves as technology companies rather than taxis or chauffeur services. They therefore claim to fall outside of many legal requirements - particularly when it comes to health and safety. While illegal in Australia for unaccredited transport services to tout for fares, the rise of technology has given car sharing organisations an ability to secure business without the regulations that control other authorised transport providers. Unfortunately, the law is yet to catch up with this scenario. While car sharing companies claim to be technology businesses, their drivers are clearly engaging in passenger transport - and therefore, are putting themselves and their passengers at risk.
Where and how does car sharing fall short?
Largely uncontrolled and self-governed, car sharing companies fall short in several key areas:
The importance of using authorised drivers
While car sharing may appear initially appealing due to its lower up-front costs, it also comes with some fairly significant risks. Perhaps the biggest concern is that you don’t really know who the drivers are, or what their qualifications may be. While car sharing companies claim to have their own checks and controls in place, the risk of getting a potentially unsuitable driver can be quite significant. There have also been several recent examples of self regulation failing customers. Currently, for instance, Uber is looking to more than double their current driver base within the next 12 months - a mass recruitment process that will inevitably result in a decrease in service and driver skill.
Once your business starts clocking up thousands of hours of travel per year, an employee being involved in an on-road incident with an unqualified and unsuitable driver also becomes an undesirable probability. While the contemporary branding and low price point of car sharing companies may appear initially appealing, their lack of adherence to health and safety obligations presents an unacceptable level of risk - particularly when it comes to their lack of sufficient insurance coverage.
So what’s the alternative?
Rather than moving your business from taxis to car sharing, why not consider a private chauffeur service? There are some fairly important benefits, which include:
Want to learn more?
GPU is a reputable, international chauffeur service based in Australia. We offer high quality transport for business travel and events. Visit www.gpu.travel to learn more or make an online booking, or contact us on 1300 648 688.
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