Coping with Car Rental Challenges During the Pandemic
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest challenges that the world is currently facing. With strict community quarantines and total lockdowns in some areas, businesses face disruptions left and right. Car rental companies, for instance, which are unfortunately considered as a “non-essential sector,” face car rental challenges and have to follow health protocols and strict precautionary measures while doing their operations.
Car Rental Challenges in the time of Coronavirus
Due to travel bans and restrictions, car rental companies have faced devastating effects on their business operations. According to a report by the American Car Rental Association (ACRA), there is a 50-70% average decrease in car rental demand at airport locations. As a result, some car rental companies started employing coping strategies to keep their business afloat. Such strategies include boosting hygiene protocols through regular sanitation. It also includes utilizing their vehicles for delivery purposes, care transport, and mass transit.
Moreover, safety guidelines require people to maintain a physical distance of at least one meter from each other. Thus, public transportation has to limit the number of passengers allowed per vehicle, thereby affecting their income. Additional costs also come from the need to replace regular air filters with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) units. These ensure that only clean and safe air is circulating within the vehicle. These companies also need to purchase facial gears and other preventive equipment to reduce driver and passenger interaction.
Solving Car Rental Challenges
Considering the car rental challenges mentioned above, here are some of the ways that car rental companies can ensure that their business survives the pandemic.
1. Offer Car Delivery Services
People these days order their daily necessities online. With the rise of food delivery apps, car rental companies should also offer car delivery options instead of pick-up. Car rental companies should make availing car rental services as easy as ordering food online. They should also employ online check-ins and contactless handovers as a way to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
2. Optimize Locations
Car rental companies operating in multiple locations find it challenging to maintain their operations, especially during the pandemic. Some areas are under lockdown while others go through strict quarantine procedures. Thus, some of their locations may bring negative impacts to their overall business performance. However, with the use of a cloud-based car rental booking system plugin for your WordPress website, you can easily manage your operations across multiple locations in one organized system.
3. Create a Lockdown-Proof Return Policy
During these times, a customer may be forced to stay within a particular area due to a sudden lockdown. For this reason, the customer may not be able to return the car they rented on time. Under usual circumstances, a customer will be required to pay extra. However, during these kinds of unforeseen circumstances, service providers must make allowances for their valued customers. Thus, it would work best if you include a lockdown-proof return policy in the agreement.
4. Improve Sanitation Procedures
Keeping ourselves and our immediate surroundings clean is one of the best ways to fight the pandemic. For car rental companies, doing so ensures your customers that the cars they are driving are clean and properly-sanitized. You can also provide your customers with a small hand sanitizer, masks, wipes, and gloves. Doing this will show that you genuinely care about your customers’ health. It would also be best if you update the terms and conditions of your cleanliness and sanitation policies and standards.
5. Employ Digital Strategies
One of the major obstacles when doing business nowadays is the required physical distancing between persons. Thus, car rental companies should employ strategies that allow customers to complete a transaction without the need for face-to-face interaction. Such techniques may include the use of e-signatures when booking a car and signing a rental agreement. Another way to remove physical interaction is by giving customers the ability to unlock an assigned car themselves.
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