23 Feb 2023 | 4 min read
Now more than ever, with the spreading of connected cars and connected fleets, this is getting real.
After the heavy losses caused by Covid, the chip shortage, and the related decrease in available vehicles in fleets, an inevitable rise in prices emerged.
Users’ needs have also changed. More and more requests for car rentals (despite rising prices) made them a convenient and safer alternative to public transportation in close contact with other people. The outdated classic car rental systems have been morphing to slowly heal this situation and start giving users what they want. A seamless, peace of mind, and fast renting experience.
Contactless rentals can dismantle this old management and make innovation the real focus of car rentals. Having a connected fleet gives access to an extended merry-go-round of benefits for the fleet manager and the entire car rental company.
The first thing that comes to mind when talking about connected cars in a contactless rental fleet is the ability to interact with vehicles, lock and unlock them, without the need for keys. No need to hand over the keys to the user, you just have them placed directly inside the car that will be opened digitally.
What does it mean in terms of benefits?
Firstly, significant time savings for both parties (operator and customer). The customer no longer has to go through the front office to sign documents and retrieve the vehicle keys (which will already be inside the vehicle, ready to be opened digitally), and the operator does not have to invest extra manpower, money, and energy running a service point dedicated to this step. The step itself is eliminated and incorporated by the keyless technology process, which will make it possible to actively manage your contactless rental business 24/7.
Thereafter, a better quality of service, faster, more straightforward, and more flexible. Not to mention the financial savings on service personnel and the possibility of expanded fleet deployment across the territory.
With the rise of the on-demand economy, people are looking for quick, easy, and hassle-free solutions to their car rental needs. Contactless rentals meet this demand by providing a convenient and streamlined process for renting and returning cars.
One of the key benefits is the ability to rent and return cars on the go. This is especially appealing to today’s young worker, who is used to a 24/7 connected life and is looking for a service at the same pace. By using a mobile or web app, customers can quickly and easily find and rent the car they need, 24/7, 365 days a year.
Fleet management shouldn’t be complicated, slow, or muddling. Optimizing your connected fleet means having access to a range of valuable data to optimize your operations. In support of this, some of the most valuable data available are real-time ones such as GPS localization (a trump card also useful in case of fraudulent driver behavior, to have constant control over the position of the vehicle), fuel level or battery level, odometer, and maintenance status. All relevant data for efficient and ready-to-go management.
Fleet managers adopting a technological solution for their fleet of cars can keep a constant watchful eye over how their vehicles are being used in the field while focusing on their myriad of other responsibilities.
Better maintenance is an essential aspect too when it comes to real-time data on the condition of vehicles. In this sense, fleet managers can schedule maintenance more effectively, reducing the likelihood of breakdowns and prolonging the life of the vehicles. Time-consuming inventory management is one of the biggest pain points in this regard. Many operators spend so much time and energy registering vehicles returned to the fleet, checking their odometer and battery/fuel level to officially close the previous car rental and prepare the vehicle for the next one. Technological optimization of a rental aims precisely at maximizing the car rental’s operational efficiency by making the fleet controlled, safe, and productive to the utmost.
It is possible to intensify rental vehicle usage with an economically attractive program of incentives. This can exert influence upon the behavior of drivers and shape their preferences also with the change of driving style to a more economic or ecological one.
The eco-driving score makes it possible to analyze the driving behavior of the car user and offer economic incentives with dynamic pricing based on user behavior. Research company OVE Consulting estimates that eco-driving can create cost savings of up to 25%.
A good driving style where drivers are maintaining a steady speed to limit unnecessary fuel loss whilst keeping a safe distance between their and other vehicles to avoid harsh braking is key.
Implementing connected solutions within a car rental fleet, like GPS tracking among other features, can give companies visibility of how their staff is driving, enabling them to spot issues and support drivers.
As consumers live an increasingly on-demand lifestyle, car rental companies need to invest in technology to provide more personalized service. It’s evident how technology marks a pivotal role in car rental business optimization, simply having cars available for your users will not be enough to stay ahead of the curve.
By transforming the car rental business into a software-based model, operators will ensure themselves a place on the road to the future among the most ahead-of-the-curve players.