Following a number of countries easing their lockdown rules and getting almost back to ‘normal’, DiscoverCars.com wanted to find out what car rental providers are doing in order to keep their customers safe.
For that reason, they surveyed almost 400 of partner companies and observed a reassuring increase in the provision of Covid-19 safety measures.
Over three-quarters (84 percent) of the car rental firms polled said that they carry out specialist sanitation on each of their cars across all locations to protect the wellbeing of their customers.
Furthermore, over one-fifth (27 percent) of companies offer additional Covid-19 protection such as antibacterial gel and wipes, or face masks and gloves for customers in their cars completely free of charge.
Gel — 60%
Mask — 46%
Wipes — 17%
Gloves — 10%
Meanwhile, 12 percent provide them at an extra cost.
The car rental providers went on to share that they sanitise and disinfect the whole car, from the steering wheel to ventilation or radio systems. They also take steps to follow social distancing rules in their shops. They go on to sanitise and cover steering wheels and seats in plastic while car keys are given to customers in plastic bags.
Some providers, depending on where they are based as each government around the world has different regulations, ask customers to sign a document stating that they do not have Covid-19 symptoms or that they have not been in touch with anyone who has had them. Providers in some countries require a note from a doctor that the customer does not have Coronavirus.
If a customer states, when dropping a car off, that during the time they were using the vehicle they started to experience Coronavirus symptoms or were in touch with someone who displayed such symptoms, the car goes into quarantine. After the quarantine period is over the car is sanitised and rented out again.
Covid-19 protection is the third most popular customer request in our booking system. This comes just after automatic transmission and air conditioning.
Online check-ins where possible and contactless handovers are also very much on the increase among customers.
Protecting the wellbeing of all customers and ensuring that they can rent a car during this period without fear of infection or compromising their safety is of utmost importance to all car rental companies.
The survey reassuringly shows that the wider car rental industry is taking this health crisis extremely seriously and implementing steps to ensure that people are guarded against the risk of catching Covid-19 to the best of their ability.
Coronavirus affecting the prices
As a result of the current health crisis, car rental prices have gone down across the globe. The biggest drop was Sweden, where the average price to rent a car in 2019 was €81 compared to €35 in 2020, representing a 57 percent decrease.
Next was Canada which went from €48 to €25 (48 percent). Third was Portugal’s Azores Island which was €36 down to €20 (44 percent).
The locations which have been least affected include Poland, which went from €20 to €19 (five percent), New Zealand was €19 to €18 (five percent) and Iceland €64 to €56 (13 percent).
Norway was the only country to observe an increase in rates, with the average price to rent a car standing at €68 in 2019 and €77 in 2020, which is a 13 percent rise.
DiscoverCars.com surveyed 359 car rental partners on the 10th of June 2020. The price data was gathered on the 11th of June 2020. The prices are based on 7 days rental, economy class.