Delivery and collection fees - 2022

Hi all,

I’m Rob, co-founder and CEO of Onto, for those who haven’t heard from me before. I’m here today to give you an update on our deliveries and collections.

To start with, I want to thank all of you for being active in our community and always giving us your thoughts and feedback. We continue to listen and learn from you to offer the best possible service to all our subscribers.

Over the past few months, we’ve been working hard to develop our service and apologise unreservedly to those of you whose deliveries have been adversely affected by the nationwide driver shortage, coming at a point in time when we have also been rapidly expanding. It’s been a challenging period for logistics throughout the world, and I promise we are doing our utmost to deliver on the high standards that you deserve and that we demand of ourselves. We recognise that regardless of this, we need it to improve, and we are taking a number of actions to improve the delivery performance and communication from our logistics partners. Performance is improving, but we know we can do better.

We switched to a home delivery, swap and collection service for a standardised cost back in July 2020, due to restrictions around the pandemic and in an effort to keep everyone safe. It was initially introduced as a temporary solution for unprecedented times and has since been operating at a substantial loss to the business.

Therefore, as of 1st January 2022 the new price for delivery or collection of a car will be £99.50.

To be clear that means if you book a delivery or collection before 1st Jan 2022, you will pay the existing price. For example, if you booked a car on 17th Dec 2021 for a delivery date on 7th Jan 2022 you will pay £49.50. However, any delivery or collection booked from 1st Jan onwards will pay the new price of £99.50. We will continue to waive all delivery fees if your car is not delivered on the same day as booked.

I hope you understand that this is not an easy decision to take, but that the current pricing is not sustainable for us as a business, especially as logistics costs are rising due to the driver shortage. We don’t believe it would be fair for existing customers to supplement deliveries and collections through their subscription, so for that reason we have taken the decision to increase delivery prices instead of subscription prices. We are not trying to profit from the delivery fees, but instead just make sure we can cover our costs and ensure high standards from our delivery partners.

On a more positive note, we know that one of your favourite aspects of being with Onto is the flexibility to swap between cars and try the latest models. That’s why we have committed to keeping the price for swapping cars at £49.50.

I appreciate that price rises are never welcome news, but I hope you understand the context for these changes and know that we’re working incredibly hard to continue to improve our offer.

We are looking at all available options to create the best all-round experience at a fair price. This includes exploring whether ‘swap points’ can be brought back, but given that we expect to make more than 30,000 vehicle movements in 2022, hopefully you can understand this is quite a bit more challenging than back when we had a few hundred cars in our fleet!

As always, thanks for your support and feedback.

Rob

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This is totally understandable and I think keeping the swap price at £49.50 is a nice way to reward loyal subscribers.

I think this would be great but understand the logistics, maybe in the future ONTO could have Cazoo style physical locations! a long way off I know!

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For me who is hoping to keep my ONTO car for 12-24 months, £99.95 for delivery and again collection isn’t too bad. I’d imagine those who only use ONTO for 1-6 months would find it worse value.

I did have a ton of messing around with my delivery so would be good to have the option to collect vehicles but I appreciate that’s not as easy as it sounds especially if the vehicle is brand new.

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I can’t remember if we can use points towards deliveries/swaps (I am being to lazy to go and check!).

On the whole I think this is a reasonable approach although in this case I would also hope that onto are more able to take a proactive approach with the delivery partners so that they have a view of the logistics and impacts of issues on any given day. Whilst I understand that the logistics are outsourced to a number of partners it seems to be quite a manual process for onto to get the updates when things don’t got to plan so it would be good to try and proactively head off more of those issues (for example on.to to proactively investigate all deliveries on a given day that have not shown any movement after XX hours or whatever.)
I am sure with COVID hopefully easing longer there that it might be possible to re-introduce swap points/collection points or some other options as Rob mentioned as this would help with scaling things out as well.

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Let’s hope the investment in those TV adds pay off.

As with any club the more members means more money in the pot to improve the ‘customer experience’, including staff:customer ratios.

I did find it difficult to understand the costing of the deliveries with the manpower and hours involved but the door has to be opened to entice initial customers somehow.

Seems a sensible business decision to me :+1:

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I think the collection option should be there too. My nearest Gefco is not too far and it would probably cost me 10 to 15 pounds to go there. So paying 99.5 seems a bit too much. Atleast swap fees is still 49.5 so not too bad but it would suck to return the car for a few days and then get it back and pay close to 200 for that. I did this about 2 months back and ended up paying about 100. Now I wouldn’t consider doing that with this cost. Collection should really be one option ONTO should consider implementing really soon.

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Still a bargain for Scottish delivery’s/collections though

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The problem is Gefco and the others are not setup to receive members of the public and to be honest most are old airfields and large industrial units/lots with lots of vehicular traffic with transporters and cars…

So as much as people keep wanting to go pick up from them they won’t allow it as its a H&S nightmare…

Also bare in mind collection comes with infrastructure costs… such as secure locations, staff, etc etc… Maybe OntO could do pop up collection locations like football stadiums etc, but monthly or something…but again costs are associated with this…

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@mozzauk well remember they used to let you pick up from random car parks, like for the Manchester pick up point they used the sainburys, if there’s enough demand for it they could do that again as a compromise between delivery and collection, maybe charge £49.50 for that option or something

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What I hope is the extra fees allow Onto to get a higher level of service / assurance from delivery partners – maybe some of the newer (e.g. Engenius?) partners who have been proving to be quite reliable are more expensive?

It’s also probably reflective of the target market being people who live outside of big city centres and maybe the critical mass of delivery recipients lives further away from one of the distribution centres now.

It’s a nice bonus that the swap fee is still only £49.50. It would be great if there was an option, I think particularly for returns, to return the car to a small set of locations located near major public transport (e.g. rail) where you could make your way home afterward if it suited – but obviously there are huge complexities to doing that and at the moment the service is still great, and something that I have (and will) continue to recommend to people.

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Hi Rob

I was just wondering if a option to collect the vehicles ourselves could be looked at and in that way cuts out the middle man and saves money for customer and provider. Obviously the delivery options would still be an option with charges ect just an idea.

I completely agree. If they are not covering the cost of the delivery then that cost is simply going to be worked into the monthly fee, resulting in longer term customers paying more in the long run. Keeping the swap price at £49.50 is a real sweetener!

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Guess you didn’t read the whole text as you will have seen it says….

We are looking at all available options to create the best all-round experience at a fair price. This includes exploring whether ‘swap points’ can be brought back, but given that we expect to make more than 30,000 vehicle movements in 2022, hopefully you can understand this is quite a bit more challenging than back when we had a few hundred cars in our fleet!

And it doesn’t cut out the middlemen… as the cars still will need a facility to store, prep, return, etc. and then they will need guess what drivers to pickup and return to a swap point.

Personally I can’t see this ever returning, the only possible solution might be drop off/collection from a logistics centre, but that flies in the face of what they do/offer and as I and others have pointed out there are massive H&S issues on these sites and are high vis jacket only entrance and none are setup to accept the general public on site.

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I guess not😏 oh well !!

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They could do pop ups on a weekly basis or bi weekly depending on the volume of customers needing to return or collect their cars. It just makes it easier. They could maybe do a trial run in major cities to see how viable it is. I do remember someone said that ONTO used to do collections before.

All in all, the £99 fees is getting a bit steep. At this point I would much rather my car got delayed due to driver issue so I can avoid the hefty cost. If you get a DS3 then this cost is almost 1/5th of the cost of the car. Quite a big chunk of money for the first month. Also, ONTO are meant for flexible car subscription so I’m guessing a lot of customers would want the car for a few months only. In that case this cost would add up quite a bit.

One of Onto’s competitors used to offer a collection service, where you could turn up to the BCA Depot in Oxfordshire (an old RAF Base) and collect the car. It’s stopped since Covid, but I wonder if that would return.

Granted I don’t know the ins and outs of how it worked, whether they met you outside the front gate etc, so it may not be as simple as it sounds.

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Highly unlikely as the volume of traffic in/out of these sites is constant with transporters/individual cars/vans/etc. and all the old RAF sites are usually in the middle of nowhere so require a taxi ride to get to them if you were collecting a vehicle.
Some may have a holding area once through the security gates/complex, but again it’s on the dangerous side of the compound, so not a location sites would be ok with using for the general public. It’s a slim possibility for a few sites, but it would be quite a radical change if they did become ‘swap points’.

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I discussed with Elmo and they said they used to offer it, but again I’m not entirely sure what the process was. As you say, it’s not easy to get access and not the safest of places. I do wonder if they’ll bring the option back, and how it did/would work.

Sites like MK Coachway would be perfect again. Yes, you still need a car transporter, but you’re saving on the cost (and potential letdown) of 8-10 individual drivers to get the cars to their final destination. But then we go back to where do you put physical keys, you’d need to ensure enough people wanted to collect at/around the same date/time etc. So must be quite the headache.

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Unless the truck breaks down :stuck_out_tongue: heehee…

Whichever way you look at it, it’s a logistical puzzle (Nightmare)… and one I’m glad I don’t have to work out, I have enough trouble shipping IT kit around the globe…

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The other option would be to change the hardware in the cars to the more traditional carshare kit. Then you could unlock the car with the app or a smartcard or whatever, and retrieve the key from inside the glovebox. Insurers should still be fine with that since the car still won’t start with the key unless the booking has been started.

It would be that, or a remote controlled key safe, or having to employ someone at each swap point to do key handovers.

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