Car rentals companies have two statuses to think about: on rental and off rental. As a rental fleet manager, you need to know how to make the most of your vehicles during both.
When a car is on rental, things like fuel usage, vehicle damage, and safety are a big concern. When a vehicle is off rental, managers need to know how to put it to use as soon as possible.
Car rental fleets are constantly looking for new ways to make their processes more efficient, especially in the wake of 2020’s precipitous drop in revenue —and using technologies like telematics can be a big help.
Read on to find out how fleet management software is driving operational efficiency in the car rental business and how it can help your fleet.
1. Record Damage Reliably
Traditionally, when a car is handed over to the driver a car rental company, employee does a walk-around and marks up any sites of damage on a diagram of the car. The problem with this is that things are often missed, and it relies on the eyewitness description of whoever is doing the checking.
If one employee thinks a scratch isn’t worth noting, but the employee who receives the car back disagrees, the driver enters a dispute.
They say a photo is worth a thousand words. When it comes to car rentals, a picture could be worth a thousand dollars — or more.
Taking pictures of damage means you have indisputable proof of what damage was or wasn’t there before a rental. It also means you can record it in more detail — instead of circles marked on a diagram, you can simply take a series of pictures, then zoom in and compare the before and after images. This makes it far easier to prove or disprove claims on the spot.
Using digital forms, you can make paper a thing of the past. You can simply use a drag-and-drop form builder that is code-free and that allows you to create templates for the most complex processes and workflows, including image capture. It also works offline.
Equipping your staff with mobile forms will make record-keeping a breeze and speed up the walk-around process ten-fold.
2. Faster Collision Resolution
Unfortunately, collisions do happen. This is where GPS tracking and dashcams can be a big help: if the vehicle is involved in a road accident, accelerometer readings and dashcam footage will be hugely beneficial in dispute resolution and insurance claims.
In some scenarios, the driver may be in shock and not capture the other driver’s license plate number. The dashcam is likely to pick it up—but if it doesn’t, the video footage will prove valuable for insurance claims.
3. Better Maintenance Checks
Good maintenance is an important part of running an efficient fleet since poorly maintained vehicles are more likely to break down on the road. They’re also more expensive to run (poorly inflated tires alone increase your fuel consumption between 0.6%-3%).
Fleet management software makes it easy to schedule maintenance checks at a regular cadence. Managers can access real-time information about Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) and other data points:
- Vital engine data,
- Coolant and oil temperature,
- Fuel consumption,
- Odometer readings,
- Engine working hours,
- Critical thresholds.
With the Inspect app, you can easily create vehicle inspection reports, make them available for staff to download and deploy for vehicle inspections with digital sign-off and a mechanic portal. Catching problems early before they turn into bigger problems saves big money in the long run.
4. More Efficient Vehicle Usage
With telematics, rental companies can streamline see car usage across the entire fleet, helping them make more informed decisions about asset purchase and selling.
Keeping assets operating longer than they should causes costs to rise. It also means you run the risk of using vehicles that aren’t compliant with current safety and emission regulations.
Fleet management software can help you stay on top of your vehicle replacement schedule and find the right time to replace your assets. Make sure you know which vehicles are in operation, which ones have a few years left, and those that will soon need to be replaced.
5. A Faster Way to Help You Recover Stolen Vehicles
If a car is stolen, GPS fleet management software can speed up the recovery. Geofencing allows fleet managers to be instantly alerted when a vehicle goes outside its designated zone. They can then contact the driver or alert the authorities as soon as possible. It also means that if a car isn’t returned, managers can log in and immediately check its whereabouts.
“We’ve actually had two cars stolen and recovered. If you look at losing two cars, that’s… …roughly a $60,000 hit to our business, a hit to our insurance – and that’s quite significant in a small business environment. Our premiums would have gone up double or three times next year. So that alone has saved us a truckload,” says Marcus Liew, Managing Director at CarPass.
If you’d like to protect your assets and boost operational efficiency for your car rental fleet, request a demo.