How technology is changing the car rental industry

The car rental industry has been disrupted by technological enablements that have led to the growth and success of ridesharing companies like Uber. However, we discuss how the development of software solutions also present upsides for car rental companies through improved operational efficiency and entrance into new markets.

George Skentzos

Head of Customer Experience

Published on 

November 4, 2021


Last updated on 

June 5, 2024

Key Takeaways

Modern technology, in the form of smartphone apps, online booking platforms and safe online payment processing has had a major impact on the car rental industry. This impact is largely viewed as positive by industry insiders, as it has enabled small companies to reach more potential customers than ever before, allowing them to compete on an almost level playing field with the biggest names in the business. However, the impact of technology on the car rental market has also made it possible for rideshare companies such as Uber, Lyft and Ola to make their services available to millions of people all over the world.

If you own or run a car rental company, what you probably want to know now is how Ola, Uber and Lyft rideshare is affecting your business and what, if anything, you can do about it. Fortunately, it’s mostly good news. Read on to discover the many ways in which the latest technological innovations and software solutions are revolutionising the car rental industry – and how your company can remain competitive in a rapidly evolving world.

Market overlap is minimal

Although car rental sales did start to drop at the same time as Uber, Lyft and Ola rose in popularity, there was little to no correlation between the two trends as far as studies could determine. It is possible that some people have decided to use rideshare services while on holiday instead of hiring a car but it’s unlikely that they represented a large percentage of potential car rental customers. Ridesharing is primarily viewed as a cost-effective alternative to taxis and public transport: it doesn’t offer the same freedom and independence that a private car rental does.

But if you’re not competing directly with ridesharing companies and they aren’t having a major negative impact on your sales, then how exactly can the technology that gave birth to these services change the way your business operates?

Providing rideshare cars for Uber, Lyft and Ola

The most important way in which the technology that powers ridesharing services is changing the car rental industry is by giving rental providers the opportunity to tap into a completely new market. With rideshare fleet solution software, companies can offer a rideshare-compliant vehicle rental service to Uber, Lyft and Ola drivers who would rather not use their own cars. For companies that often have a significant percentage of their fleet standing idle, this is a golden opportunity to boost their bottom line.

It’s not just by providing Uber drivers with rental cars that such software can change your business, either: with a fully-featured platform, you can revolutionise your rental business and move into the car subscription market, too.

Other ways technology can help your car rental company 

Whether you have already partly embraced the digital revolution by providing your customers with the ability to book rental cars online at any time, or you are still using a traditional vehicle rental business model, the latest car rental and car subscription software could radically alter the way your company operates in the future.

  • Automate repetitive tasks – Many rental firms that use online booking systems still create invoices and chase late payments manually. With fully-featured car rental software, you can be different. An application that generates invoices automatically, sends payment reminders and chases late payments via email could drastically reduce your team’s workload, leaving them free time to pursue new business opportunities instead.

  • Enter new markets – We’ve already discussed providing rideshare cars for Uber and other companies, but there’s so much more you can achieve with the right technology to back your business. The car subscription market, which we touched on above, is growing exponentially at the moment and offers rental firms yet another way to maximise the revenue they can generate from their existing fleets. There's also the micromobility market to consider, among others. You can take advantage of these new opportunities with a software solution that is designed specifically for these markets.

  • Adopt connected car technology – GPS tracking devices and software have virtually eliminated the problem of stolen rental vehicles for many businesses. If your company has yet to adopt this technology, it may be time to rethink your position. In addition to aiding in the recovery of missing vehicles, connected car technology allows you to monitor the location of your entire fleet at any given moment in time. Using this information, you can target the local rideshare car rental market more effectively and fine-tune your other services, too.

  • Use powerful reporting tools – In addition to using GPS data as outlined above, you can use the information gleaned from business activity reports to refine your rental services. A comprehensive software solution that includes detailed reporting and analysis functionality will enable you to focus your attention and resources on the areas of your business that are proving to be most profitable. It may also help you to improve profitability in areas that are not performing as well as you would like.

There are many ways in which the latest technological innovations and software solutions can change the car rental industry in general and, more importantly, your car rental business in particular. Whether you decide to remain a rental only firm and simply take advantage of the automation and reporting functionality that modern software has to offer or you go all in and start to offer rideshare cars for Uber, car subscription contracts and micromobility services, you will find it much easier to remain competitive if you join the digital revolution.

Stay ahead of the curve with Loopit 

If you’d like to learn more about how technology can help your rental business right now, contact us today. We’d be more than happy to talk with you about your business and how Loopit can help your business stay agile and remain competitive in an ever-evolving world. 

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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