V2B’s PREDICTED TRENDS FOR CAR RENTAL IN 2018
As one of Australasia’s leading travel tech companies, V2B always has its finger on the pulse of the emerging trends in travel. Here is what our crystal ball predicts for car rental in 2018.
Disruption to start occurring at the car rental desk
Although it is probably the most overused word of 2017, we do predict that there will be ‘disruption’ in the queue at car rental depots in 2018 (starting with Airport pickup). This will be driven by increasing pressure to do away with the car rental desk completely and get customers into cars directly with new technology. (V2B is working with suppliers to do just that).
A likely first step will see more suppliers offering VIP and business customers the chance to skip the line completely with rental cars accessed by windscreen pin login or via a dedicated App. We may also see suppliers charging a paid subscription for this service until it becomes the norm.
The next step from there will be an increase in Uber-style drop offs of rental cars to customers as they walk out of their Airport or Downtown Hotel to find their cars ready and waiting for them. Wouldn’t we all pay a premium for that kind of service?
Industry will pivot toward a Partial Prepaid model
Pay-on-Arrival has been the bread and butter model for most of the car rental industry in major Western markets such as the USA & Australia and 2018 will see a greater shift toward Partial and Full Prepaid product where either the deposit or the full price are paid upfront by the customer at the time of booking.
This is a preferred model by Suppliers and OTAs alike as it reduces no-shows at the counter thus reducing cash flow risk. It also facilitates better revenue forecasting and improve the accuracy of Supplier and Agent reporting.
Growth in use of independent Excess Reduction products
Consumers are becoming more and more savvy about car rental add-ons and increasingly aware of the credible and, in many cases, more affordable alternatives to the Excess Reduction products offered by car rental suppliers directly. By pre-purchasing their Rental Vehicle Excess insurance through leading 3rd parties such as our sister company www.hiccup.com.au, customers will save precious time at the counter, as well as money. A win-win for all car rental customers.
Suppliers will also increasingly push bundled offers or packages that already include Collision Damage Waiver products to reduce the decision fatigue that customers face with yet another upsell. Speed, convenience and transparency will continue to dominate decision making in the digital environment.
Industry customer service will get a much needed overhaul
There is immense dissatisfaction at the moment among consumers with regards to how car rental companies respond to complaints (and how long it takes them).
We predict that the customer service of major car rental companies is ripe for disruption as social media (Facebook, Linkedin, Review Sites and others) will continue to put increasing pressure on the major players (and second tier counterparts) to step up and match the level of service being implemented across other parts of the travel industry.
While no one can currently impact the customer experience in the queue, there are companies that make the booking process easier and faster. For that, look no further than the Southern Hemisphere’s leading car rental comparison site www.VroomVroomVroom.com.au to compare and book car rental for your next trip.