Globalisation has opened borders, markets and doors for great business opportunities. We want you to be able to seize them all and feel at home in the world with our services always within reach. Our next destination of “Alphabet around the world” is beautiful Portugal. Our friends and partners from Finlog are here to welcome you and tell you some interesting facts about their country and its mobility. Let’s jump right in!
Tell us a bit about your company, please. What makes you special?
We offer more than fleet management and operational leasing; our core is mobility which we offer since 1993. We are part of the Toyota Fleet Mobility and Salvador Caetano Auto joint venture here in Portugal and continually seek new solutions that facilitate our customers seamless mobility. Here are some of our services:
- My Ride – Uber trips that are added to the operational leasing contract, for companies that need small trips within the city, for example, where parking is a struggle.
- 2x1 – the possibility to add an extra vehicle for 15 days a year, consecutive or not. Very useful for customers who need a city car on a daily basis, but for their holidays a family car is essential.
- Connected drive – a telematics solution that provides companies with a GPS system with remote communication that allows them to locate the vehicle, analyse, manage, and in general, improve fleet performance.
Driving like a local: your best tips
We’d like to see more of Portugal! Can you recommend some nice spots in your area as a must-visit for drivers?
Portugal has, without a doubt, an immense list of places to visit. One of the most well-known cities, Lisbon, is undoubtedly a must-visit. It’s known for its beautiful light and for places along the Tagus river such as Belém near the Jerónimos Monastery where you can eat one (or more!) of Belém’s famous custard tarts. Sintra is a city near Lisbon which has places like Palácio da Pena, with its endless gardens and a Palace known for its astonishing colors. In the North we have Oporto, a city with countless charming and historic corners such as the Douro River with the Luiz Bridge. Gardens in Serra do Pilar, Serralves or Parque da Cidade are part of the wonders of this city, as well as the well-known francesinha, a typical Oporto dish. In the south of the country we have the wonderful Alentejo with striking landscapes and beautiful beaches of the Algarve. We could go on like this but with these examples you should get a pretty good idea of what Portugal has to offer.
What is your best advice as a local on vehicles, traffic and general customs that you would give to a driver from abroad?
Driving in Portugal on the busiest roads can be stressful during rush hour, but it is always an excellent way to get to know the country. Some things to keep in mind:
- The speed limit is 50 km/h in most urban areas, 90 km/h on secondary roads and up to 120 km/h on highways.
- The maximum blood alcohol content is 0.05% and the fines for drivers who drive while under the influence of alcohol are very high. Beware of the good quality and flavor of the Portuguese wine which could take you above the limit faster than you might think. ;)
- The highways connecting the country's main cities are subject to tolls.
- Gas stations usually open at 7 am and close at 10 pm, but there are also several stations open 24 hours.
What do drivers in your region attach particular importance to?
Portuguese drivers value comfort and connectivity. Most drivers expect extras such as CarPlay, parking sensors, active security, metallic paint and LED technology. Air conditioning is mandatory for any user in our sunny Portugal (by the way: don’t forget sun protection in summer). Drivers often also follow the latest car trends looking for more sporty and versatile solutions like SUVs and crossovers. ICE engines are still the first choice from the companies but there has been a slow shift towards PHEV, HEV, BEV.
The new normal: COVID-19 measures
How has the daily business changed for you since COVID-19?
Since the pandemic we have completely changed our way of working. The health of our employees is our no. 1 priority. Measures have been taken to reduce office presence, resulting in 60 % of the company working from home. Some tasks, of course, require being in the office. For these cases we have created specific rules. On the positive side, we were able to digitalise even more processes over the past year.
What special measures did you take to protect customers?
We have taken several measures to help and protect our customers, as well. From disinfecting vehicles and spaces, especially the touch points, to accelerating certain processes and extending contracts, so the mobility wouldn’t be inhibited.
Mobility trends: fleet development
Which partners are you currently working with (e.g. gas stations, repair shops etc)?
We currently have over 700 partners working in different areas. For the maintenance of the vehicles, we have partners within the Salvador Caetano Group and multi-brand networks such as Midas and Norauto, which are well known in Portugal. Regarding tires, our partners are Bridgestone, GoodYear, Firestone, among others. We also have partnerships with gas stations such as Galp, BP and Repsol, and for rent-a-car services such as Guerin, Avis and Turiscar. This great network of partners enables us to provide a very reliable service.
Which mobility services are the most important in your market?
The operational leasing is undoubtedly very popular with companies as they have long recognized their financial advantages. Increasingly, the private customer is realising the benefits of having a car without worries and extra costs, as well. We generally see a shift from ownership to mobility as a service. Currently, since we live in this new reality, the demand for more economical mobility solutions has increased. For this reason, we have extended our offer for operational leasing of used cars, a practical and economical solution, which makes it possible to have a car with reduced costs, without extra concerns.
This question came from our friends at Hedef Filo who took us through Turkey in the last “Alphabet around the world”: How do Finlog’s customers benefit from the “2x1“ service and does this service come with additional costs?
2x1 is a long-term car rental service that includes a period of 15 days in the traditional renting contract in which the customer can replace his car with another one best-fitted to e.g. a vacation. The service has a monthly fee, for example in a car rental contract (Peugeot 208 Diesel) we can include an SUV vehicle for a period of 15 days per year, for 33 € + VAT/month. You have the freedom to choose your vehicle, you get extra car warranty regardless of the time of year (includes high season), you have total cost control, a single invoice and can use it simultaneously to the day-to-day rental.
The next interviewee will be from our OneNet partner Major Profi in RUSSIA. What would you like to ask them?
We would like to understand the main difficulties they had in this mobility sector, since the pandemic forced it to slow down.
Thank you for taking us through Portugal! See you there soon!