Car rental services have changed over the past few decades, mostly due to technology. This has completely changed how we rent vehicles, where we rent them from, and how often we need to do so. Here are five ways that technology is changing the car rental industry.
Forget About Reserving Online
Today, you can now rent a car in the Philippines without even reserving it online. We want to be clear though that this doesn’t mean that reserving your car rental online is no longer an option, just an alternative. Nowadays, travellers can save themselves the hassles of getting to the rental company office early to beat rush hour traffic or waiting on hold for hours only to find out they’re out of cars. All they need to do is make a phone call and we’ll bring the car directly to them at their doorstep.
One of the more laborious and aggravating aspects of renting a car used to be completing all of the paperwork. Now, thanks to modern technology, individuals can complete that task in advance by going online. This not only saves time when picking up a vehicle but also eliminates any worry about getting hit with a last-minute fine for failing to submit paperwork within 72 hours of using your rental car.
The next step in improving security and convenience for our customers will be a program that requires customers to use their fingerprint as they enter the vehicle, says Jeff Knight, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at Alamo Rent A Car. As soon as you open the car door and place your foot on the brake pedal, a dashboard touch screen will light up and ask you to swipe your finger across it for verification. The verification takes less than 10 seconds. It’s all about convenience, Knight said. A lot of people have trouble remembering their rental agreement number or credit card information. And even if someone knows this information, who wants to take the time and effort when walking out with two suitcases in each hand? Scanned fingerprints would also help ensure there are no mix-ups with key cards between cars parked close together; as long as you scan your fingerprints before exiting the vehicle, the system knows which car is yours.
In the future, your car could come without a steering wheel or brake pedal — at least for certain geographic regions or weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow. That will dramatically reduce crashes and traffic fatalities worldwide.
One Pass for All Vehicles
One of these new technologies that car rental companies are experimenting with is all-inclusive pricing, where renters pay one fee upfront for a full day of access to all types of vehicles. For example, Enterprise has partnered with Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, and Avis offers discounts when you rent both a conventional and an electric vehicle. These innovations have made it easier than ever to book your next trip in an electric vehicle or hybrid.