How Tech has Changed the Car Rental Industry

How Tech has Changed the Car Rental Industry
The Siliconreview
10 Decemebr, 2019

As technology causes our consumer behaviour habits to change on a regular basis, it was only a matter of time before the car rental industry caught up. With car ownership in decline and many young people viewing cars as a ‘service’ rather than an investment item to own, there are many exciting new developments in the car rental industry. We’re seeing new apps and technology pop up on an almost weekly basis, so how is this changing the car rental industry and what could it mean for the future?

The Use of Online Search Engines

The way in which consumers book their holidays and car rentals has shifted greatly in the past decade. No longer relying on travel agents, consumers are more likely to scout out the best deals themselves using the internet. Search comparison websites have become a popular choice for users looking to compare providers in terms of their offerings and prices in one place. They’re quick, simple, and save money.

Car Sharing Platforms

With the current economic situation, many individuals are turning to car-sharing platforms in order to save money but also do better from an environmental standpoint. These apps allow users to essentially hitch a ride with someone heading in the same direction. This, of course, adds pressure and additional competition to the traditional car rental industry.

In-car Technology

Gone are the days where you expect to pick up a rust bucket from the back of the car rental. No, consumers are much more demanding of their vehicles these days and expect to receive the latest technology at their fingertips -- from digital assistants to built-in Sat Navs and parking sensors. Car rental firms need to keep their fleet updated and modern to meet increasing demands from customers.

A Sustainable Focus

As a whole, consumers are more eco-conscious than they ever have been, especially the younger demographic who feel passionately surrounding issues such as climate change. This can have a direct impact on car rentals, with this younger generation seeking environmentally-friendly electric cars that will minimise their carbon footprint. This is an issue that simply cannot be ignored and one that car rental firms will need to move with.

Anti-theft Systems

It’s in the best interest of both the car rental company and the customer that they have a safe and trusted experience. It’s a good idea, therefore, to arm your car with an extra layer of security. There are various high-tech car security systems on offer, some of which also come with a handy smartphone app.

A Wi-Fi Hotspot

Today, people demand connectivity wherever they go and that extends to cars too. Especially handy for families with children to keep entertained, and business travellers, Wi-Fi is now an essential part of the car rental experience. More and more carmakers are designing cars with a Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, so it’s definitely a future consideration for rental firms who want to offer their customers the best in luxury and technology.

Tech has changed the car rental industry significantly over the last few years and will no doubt, continue to.