What Car Rental Companies Are Doing To Combat COVID-19

What Car Rental Companies Are Doing To Combat COVID-19

Industry seeking ways to deal with economic impact of pandemic

At the beginning of 2020 the coronavirus was barely a blip on the news radar. Now, it’s the only current events story going. It’s already starting to take a toll on the travel and hospitality industries. The postponement of the International Car Rental Show in Las Vegas speaks volumes about the uncertainty that a global pandemic brings to the vehicle rental industry.

“After a great deal of discussion, we have jointly decided to postpone the 2020 International Car Rental Show,” read an ICRS statement issued Friday. “The safety and health of our attendees and partners is of paramount importance at this time.”

Luckily, the car rental industry is likely to have a better time at it than ride-sharing competitors. Rental offices make it a policy to clean vehicles between bookings. But riding along with the likes of Uber and Lyft carries a whole assortment of risks. The obvious one is obviously bacteria and germs left behind by previous customers in the course of a day.

Budget Revamps Cleaning Measures

So far, among all the major players in the car rental industry, Budget has been most forthcoming in how the company plans to address the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent posting on the company website’s home page outlined safety protocols being put into place.

“We are closely monitoring the guidance of the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control regarding the spread of the virus,” read the site. “Our focus is to ensure we meet customer needs while doing our part to keep you, our employees, and our communities safe.”

The company has revamped its interior cleanup regimen that takes place after each rental. That includes common touch points including seats, steering wheels, door handles and various hard surfaces. Their cleanup staff is using higher-recommended sanitizing products to cut down on the risk of illness. Staff who feel ill will be told to go home. Budget added that it’s particularly being vigilant about frequent hand washing and is waiving any charges involving customer cancelations. 

While other companies haven’t responded with their own plans to help assure and retain customers, it may only be a matter of time before that happens. It’s likely they’ll follow similar protocols that Budget has undertaken. Although the information about the virus has been contradictory at times, what’s been consistent is that more sanitary approaches to doing business is the best defence against getting sick.


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