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The current trends that have been seen in the one-way car rental sector of the United States includes an increased amount of customer service that is inclined towards safety because of the COVID pandemic, a global drop in car renting rates, and an increased use of car rental applications and software to facilitate safety. A detailed overview of research findings follows below.
More Customer Service Focus on Safety
- Last year, technology facilitated an improvement in customer service within the one-way car renting sector through speedy delivery and increased consumer options. In 2020, customer service in the sector has taken a different approach that is inclined towards safety because of the global COVID pandemic.
- Today, customer service has taken a more hands-on approach to ensure the customers of the one-way car renting sector are safe when using the rentals. Companies ordered their staff to go through quarantine protocols when they developed COVID symptoms while on the job and more forward-thinking car rental companies invested in increasing the intensity cleanliness and sanitization procedures, especially in the interior of cars.
- This trend was chosen because the COVID pandemic has affected virtually all business sectors including the one-way car rental sector. The impact of this trend on the sector is a steady increase in the number of people that are renting out cars because there is an increase in the number of travelers that are turning to "domestic and regional trips close to home that are accessible by car, as opposed to journeys requiring close contact in airplane cabins."
Drop in Global Car Renting Rates
- The COVID pandemic lockdowns affected the supply and demand of one-way car rentals, largely due to the impact that the pandemic has had on international flights and travel that is heavily relied upon by the car renting sector.
- An example of the impact of the COVID pandemic on car rentals is the 18% decrease in hiring rates in Florida and even larger decreases across the world i.e. 57% in Sweden, and 48% in Canada.
- This trend was chosen because the pandemic has had a devastating effect on car renting businesses globally and in the United States and it is still currently affecting business in the one-way car rental sector. The impact of this trend on the sector is considerable because major players such as Hertz and Advantage have filed for bankruptcy because of the local and international travel restrictions that have affected business in the sector.
Increased Use of Car Rental Applications and Software
- As technology continues to advance, the use of artificial intelligence and car connectivity for more efficient and faster service to customers continued to pick up.
- One-way car rental companies in the United States are implementing the use of car rental software to facilitate contactless transactions for customers to safely rent out cars.
- For instance, Bluebird collaborated with Move Mee to provide more unmanned booking opportunities that enforce social and physical distancing measures. Other companies continued to develop remote booking software options that will make it easier for customers to conduct business with car rental companies.
- This trend was chosen because the COVID pandemic has necessitated the development of clever work arounds to traditional processes so as to ensure safety for the employees and customer of the one-way car rental sector. The impact of this trend is a positive growth in one-way car renting as people do more business when they feel safer and people also consider car renting safer than taking local and regional flights.