Following a number of countries easing their lockdown rules and getting almost back to "normal," DiscoverCars.com surveyed almost 400 car rental providers to find out what Covid-19 safety measures are in place to keep customers safe.
Over three-quarters (84%) of the car rental firms polled said that they carry out specialist sanitation on each of their cars across all locations to protect the wellbeing of their customers. Furthermore, over one-fifth (27%) of companies offer additional COVID-19 protection such as antibacterial gel and wipes, or face masks and gloves for customers in their cars completely free of charge.
The car rental providers went on to share that they sanitise and disinfect the whole car, from the steering wheel to ventilation or radio systems. They also take steps to follow social distancing rules in their shops. They go on to sanitise and cover steering wheels and seats in plastic while car keys are given to customers in plastic bags.
Some providers, depending on where they are based as each government around the world has different regulations, ask customers to sign a document stating that they do not have coronavirus symptoms or that they have not been in touch with anyone who has had them. Providers in some countries require a note from a doctor that the customer does not have coronavirus.
If a customer states, when dropping a car off, that during the time they were using the vehicle they started to experience coronavirus symptoms or were in touch with someone who displayed such symptoms, the car goes into quarantine. After the quarantine period is over the car is sanitised and rented out again.
COVID-19 protection is the third most popular customer request in DiscoverCars.com booking system. This comes just after automatic transmission and air conditioning.
As a result of the current health crisis, car rental prices have gone down across the globe. The biggest drop is Sweden, where the average price to rent a car in 2019 was 81 euros ($91) compared to 35 euros ($39) in 2020, representing a 57%decrease.
Next was Canada which went from $54 to $28 (48%). Third was Portugal’s Azores Island which was 36 euros ($40) down to 20 euros to $22 (44%).
The locations which have been least affected include Poland and New Zealand, which both decreased five percent, and Iceland, which went down 13%.
Norway was the only country to observe an increase in rates, with the average price to rent a car standing at 68 euros ($77) in 2019 and 77 euros ($87) in 2020, a 13% increase.