Legacy vs. Next-Gen Platforms: The Car Rental Software Behind Hertz, Avis, SIXT and others

Discover why the legacy software systems used by iconic rental car companies are falling short in the modern market and how franchisees are capitalizing on their freedom to choose nimbler, next-gen alternatives.

George Skentzos

Head of Customer Experience
 @ Loopit.co

Published on 

January 18, 2024


Last updated on 

January 18, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Legacy System Issues: Legacy rental software is expensive, inflexible, and hinders growth and innovation for rental car companies.
  • Franchisee Software Choices: Individual franchisees can choose their software systems, resulting in a diverse mix of solutions in the industry.
  • Next-Gen Platforms: Newer platforms like Loopit leverage advanced technologies, providing more flexible and cost-effective solutions.
  • Empowering Rental Companies: Next-generation systems offer customization, easy integration, and cloud-based solutions to modernize car rental operations.
  • Business Advantages: Modern platforms enable improved operational efficiency, enhanced customer experiences, and a competitive edge for rental companies.

The major rental car providers like Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, and Sixt have relied on legacy rental software platforms for decades. These include proprietary systems developed in-house as well as from vendors like IDS, TSD, and TourSolutions. While deeply entrenched, these legacy systems present major limitations for modern rental operators looking to innovate and grow.

Legacy platforms were initially developed in the 1980s-1990s and built up in layers over many years. As a result, they can be rigid, expensive to maintain, and difficult to update. The core codebase and architecture makes it challenging to leverage new technologies like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and mobile apps. This severely restricts the flexibility, efficiency and competitiveness of companies relying on legacy systems.

In this article, we will examine the limitations of legacy rental software, and how next-generation platforms like Loopit can empower car rental operators with greater innovation, lower costs, and a competitive edge.

Legacy Platforms Used by Major Rental Companies

The largest car rental agencies have historically relied on proprietary, legacy software systems to run their operations. Hertz uses a homegrown system, which was developed over decades to handle reservations, fleet management, pricing and other rental processes. Similarly, Avis utilizes its own longstanding system to manage its global car rental business across thousands of locations. Sixt relies on its own proprietary software tailored specifically for its operations and needs.

While these legacy platforms have enabled major rental companies to reach scale, they have limitations due to being accumulated in layers over many decades. This makes them difficult and expensive to maintain and customize. As a result, they often lack flexibility and can hinder innovation compared to modern purpose-built solutions.

Limitations of Legacy Rental Software Platforms

The legacy rental software platforms used by major rental car companies like Hertz, Avis, and Sixt face significant limitations and challenges in today's environment. Legacy systems tend to "decay" over time as they are modified, leading to increased entropy and technical debt. Some key drawbacks of legacy rental platforms include:

Built Up Over Decades

The core codebase of legacy rental software has been built up in layers over many decades. This makes the systems difficult and expensive to update or innovate upon.

Costly Maintenance

The antiquated tech stack and sprawling codebase makes legacy rental software extremely costly for rental companies to maintain and customize. Server, storage and integration costs add up over time.

Lack of Modern Tech

These legacy systems do not leverage latest technologies like AI, IoT, cloud computing etc. This hampers efficiency, automation and innovation capabilities.

Integration Challenges

Monolithic legacy architectures also make it difficult to flexibly integrate third-party systems for payments, marketing, CRM etc.

Overall, while deeply entrenched, legacy rental software severely restricts the agility, efficiency and innovation potential of modern rental car operators.

Franchisees and Software Selection

It is important to note that many rental car providers operate through a franchise model, where individual franchisees manage their locations and operations. As a result, franchisees often have the freedom to choose their own software systems. Consequently, there may not be a single answer to which platform each car rental company uses.

Each franchisee may evaluate different solutions based on their specific needs, budget, location, and technological preferences. They may choose to utilize a mix of legacy rental software, third-party systems, or even next-generation platforms like Loopit. The choice of software platforms varies depending on the franchisee business requirements and goals.

This variation in software choices allows franchisees to customize their operations, ensuring that they meet the unique requirements of their specific business model and target market. However, it also means that the overall technological landscape within the car rental industry can be quite diverse, with multiple systems and platforms in use across different locations and providers.

Introducing Loopit - A Next-Gen Rental Platform

Loopit is a next generation cloud-based SaaS platform built from the ground up to meet the needs of modern rental car companies. Unlike legacy systems designed decades ago, Loopit takes full advantage of the latest technologies like artificial intelligence, IoT sensors, and mobile apps to deliver an innovative and flexible solution.

As a true cloud-native platform, Loopit is optimized for rapid deployment, scale, and continuous delivery of new capabilities. The system architecture leverages microservices, enabling different components to be updated frequently without disrupting operations. This allows Loopit to roll out new features and innovations on a regular basis.

A key focus in Loopit's design is enabling deep customization, configuration and integration. The platform provides open APIs, webhooks and hundreds of settings to adapt the system precisely to each operator's specific business requirements. Rental companies can seamlessly connect Loopit to third-party systems for payments, CRM, marketing and more.

By taking a cloud-first approach from the outset, combining it with modular architecture and an API-first strategy, Loopit provides the flexibility and agility required by modern rental operators.

How Loopit Empowers Rental Companies

Loopit is a next-generation rental software platform that is purpose-built to empower modern rental operators with greater efficiency, lower costs, and the ability to innovate faster. Unlike legacy systems that have been built up over decades, Loopit has been designed from the ground up with the needs of contemporary rental businesses in mind.

A key advantage of Loopit is the flexibility it provides to customize features, settings, and third-party integrations. Operators can tailor Loopit to match their specific business requirements and brand style. This enables them to streamline operations, enhance the customer experience, and differentiate their service offerings.

By leveraging the latest cloud-based architecture, Loopit has a significantly lower total cost of ownership compared to legacy systems that require expensive on-premise servers and IT maintenance. The SaaS delivery model also allows Loopit to scale rapidly with the business as it grows.

Loopit empowers rental companies to innovate faster by continually releasing cutting-edge updates focused on emerging technologies like IoT, mobile apps, AI, and big data analytics. Operators gain access to innovations that would take years to develop internally.

Key Benefits of Using Loopit

Loopit delivers significant advantages and benefits to modern rental car companies compared to legacy platforms. By leveraging cutting edge technology and optimized design, Loopit enables rental operators to boost efficiency, enhance customer experience, drive revenue growth and reduce costs.

Some of the key benefits include:

  • Boosts efficiency - Loopit's intuitive user interface and built-in automation and real-time tracking features dramatically improve operational efficiency. Staff spend less time on manual processes and paperwork.
  • Enhanced customer experience - Customers enjoy a seamless rental experience via Loopit's mobile app and ability to create personalized rental packages and offers.
  • Higher revenue - Companies can maximize revenue with Loopit's dynamic pricing algorithms and ancillary sales features for add-ons.
  • Lower costs - Loopit reduces overhead costs and maintenance expenses compared to legacy systems.
  • Easy integration - Loopit seamlessly integrates with 3rd party systems including payments, marketing, CRM and other platforms.1

By leveraging Loopit, forward-thinking rental operators gain a major competitive edge over companies relying on outdated technology.

In summary, while legacy rental software platforms have served major rental companies for decades, they have key limitations in today's market. These systems can be expensive to customize and maintain, don't leverage latest technologies, and hinder efficiency, innovation and performance.

Modern rental operators require greater flexibility, integration capabilities, and innovation from their platforms. This is where Loopit comes in as a next-generation rental solution. By optimizing for flexibility, leveraging AI/IoT/mobile and providing easy integration, Loopit empowers rental companies with boosted efficiency, enhanced customer experience, higher revenue and lower costs.

About the author
George is the Head of Marketing and Customer Experience at Loopit. Having originally started his career as a motoring journalist and founding team member for one of Australia's top automotive startups, George has a strong passion for automotive, business and growth marketing.
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