Need a contactless car rental experience?11 November 2020
With Social Distancing set to be the norm for may years to come, a
contactless car rental expereinceThe ability to collect a rental vehicle without human intervention
has become more of a requirement than a convenience. Offered by most car rental companies a contactless rental has born a major inconvenience for the renter, because unless they intend to rent a vehicle from the same company every time, they will need to download a new app each time they rent.
What is a contactless car rental experience?
A true contactless car rental experience is when a customer can arrive at a car rental station, collect a vehicle and then return the vehicle at the end of the agreed rental period without having to have contact with any other human being.
The most talked about option allowing a car rental company to offer a contactless rental experience, is by providing what is commonly known as keyless entry systems or a digital key access systems,Within the car rental industry this is known as being able to lock & unlock and start a vehicle using a mobile phone to allow access to vehicles using a mobile phone. This technology should not be confused with the standard key fobs commonly supplied with most vehicles and advertised by many as keyless entry. Unless vehicle keyless entry hardware technology is installed by the manufacturer, and there is more of them installing this feature as standard, a small box needs to be installed into the vehicle, and choosing a digital key provider is not a simple task.
The mobile phone, once installed with the car rental companies mobile app, will allows the customer to use the keyless entry or digital key to unlock, lock and start the vehicle during the rental period.
The mobile phone app provided by the car rental company will normally allow the customer to view, modify and sign an official rental agreement, make any payments that are outstanding and very importantly perform a damage check of the vehicle on collection and return. This then completes the contactless rental process.
An alternative and commonly used option to keyless entry vehicles is secure lockers, remarkably like the ones used by amazon, where once again the boxes are accessible using the app the car rental company has requested the customer to download. Within the locker the customer will find the key to the vehicle and in some cases a rental agreement for them to sign. It should be realised that many traffic enforcement entities in certain countries will not accept an electronic copy of a signed rental agreement and therefore the customer must still have a hard copy in the event they are stopped for a traffic violation.
Some companies have also installed complete keyless entry offices, where the lockers are situated inside, just like many banks did allowing you to enter the office area, where the ATM machine was located by just swiping your credit card.
The common solutions explain work very well, but one area only covered by the Hannk solution is the ability to provide access to secure compounds where vehicles are stored. In just the same way as a digital key is provided to the mobile app to allow the customer to lock, unlock and start a vehicle, the Hannk system can use the same digital key to allow customers access to secure compound and open the gates to allow the vehicle to be collected or returned to a secure area 24 hours a day without the requirement to have rental staff on duty and extending the contactless rental experience.
Governments around the world all seem to agree that the world will never be the same again after the pandemic and social distancing will be with us for many years to come. Car Rental companies are being innovative, looking for new ways to deliver that contactless car rental experience over and above the common ones mentioned above. One common issue, the inconvenience to customers having to download mobile apps for each company the rent from, this makes the decision which App to download and which company to use difficult.
More customers are realising the inconvenience downloading several app causes and this is why many of them are choosing an App that can be used across multiple technologies and platforms, the market leader being Hannk