How to run your car rental business during Covid-19
Updated: Jul 27, 2021
We at Coastr, understand your worries about the safety of your loved ones and your concerns about the operations of your company. In these uncertain times, there are difficult decisions that you may need to take as an owner or manager of a car rental business.
We have been talking to a lot of business owners and car rental operators like you as well as experts from across the travel industry. We thought it may be useful to share with you some of the learning and trends that we’ve observed.
How businesses are planning their short-term business strategy
Businesses are being extremely prudent about costs
Keeping operational and people costs down to a bare minimum to prepare for a minimum 4-6 months slow period with significantly reduced demand
Holding off on new vehicle purchases, reducing staff costs by digitising operations, reducing premises costs where possible by working out of cheaper or remote locations
Looking for better deals for fleet insurance, financing and payment providers deals in the market
Getting access to government support for small businesses where possible to sustain working capital
Disposing assets gradually, to reduce future impact, in case if the demand grows, as it may be difficult to acquire at the same pace
Slowing down on outbound marketing
Businesses are putting aggressive marketing campaigns on hold until the lockdown finishes and demand picks up
Focussing on content marketing, create useful content and guides for customers offering unique insights
Maintaining active presence on social media for new customer acquisition and retention of existing customers
Most importantly, businesses are looking for new opportunities and focussing on identifying new customer segments or increasing presence in new locations
Preparing for the future and investing in partnerships
Developing a ramp up/ramp down strategy for the fleet and finding reliable leasing/financing/insurance partners to create flexibility in ramp up or ramp down situations
Businesses are forming new partnerships for generating new income streams and increasing customer acquisition through new distribution channels which requires flexibility in their rental contracts and supply chain. They are also investing in digitisation of the business – it’s now more than ever that businesses are realising how digitisation can reduce the impact of disruption to their everyday activities. Whether it is a digital car rental platform like Coastr or a communication tool like Google hangout, technology can significantly cut operational costs, enable flexible working and increase productivity. More importantly, businesses are looking for technology partners who can advise them on their end to end digitisation strategy
2. Accessing support for your business
Governments across the world are announcing relief packages for companies to ensure business continuity and the well being of employees. We have listed some of these relief schemes below:
In the UK – The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. From support to businesses through the Coronavirus Job retention scheme, to businesses who will be paying sick employees to support deferring VAT and Income tax payments, learn about the eligibility criteria here. You can clear any other doubts with the UK Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at their business support helpline: 0300 456 3565
In the US – The US government has announced several relief schemes to help small businesses. These measures will not only help business owners but also employees alike
In Europe – The helpful people at the media agency Sifted.eu have collated an exhaustive article on how small and medium-sized businesses in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, UK, Ireland etc., can benefit from government schemes. The article addresses concerns essentially about running out of cash, not being able to pay off debt and what to do with staff left idle.
Try Coastr's Digital Car Rental Management Platform for Free for 3 Months*
We know this is a very challenging time for everyone including car rental businesses. We want to help you where we can and are prepared to stand beside you as your Technology partner. Hence, we’re offering a free 3-month trial* of our fully digital car rental management platform that will help you run your car rental business from anywhere, save on operational costs and prepare yourself for the future.
* Offer valid until 31 Dec 2020