Photo courtesy of Hertz St. Barts

Photo courtesy of Hertz St. Barts

Hertz’s licensee on the Caribbean island of St. Barts has announced the launch of a carsharing service powered by Rent Centric’s car rental automation technology.

The new service will allow islanders access to Hertz’s rental vehicles through a mobile and web app; they are placed at different spots across the island. Currently, the technology has been installed in 50 of Hertz’s 400 rental vehicles, with plans to add more cars.

Sebastien Loret, the island’s Hertz licensee for the past seven years, researched different solutions, ultimately finding and implementing Rent Centric’s app-based, self-service carsharing platform.

Renters can complete a transaction on the spot using a mobile web browser, but downloading and using the app is more convenient, Loret says.

Currently, vehicles can be rented from the airport, local hotels, and in various street parking locations. They are also available for hourly rental.

At only 8 square miles, most of St. Barts is reachable within a 20-minute drive. With 12 car rental operators, “The car rental market is very competitive here, even more so recently,” says Loret.

Heightened competition has forced down car rental rates on the island, which has also put pressure on rates for hourly rentals. Sometimes cars can be booked at a hotel for a day for about the same price as a few hours’ rental — though not as conveniently as self-service.

Loret’s average self-service rental is about two hours. At his present pricing structure, self-service is profitable with four to five hours a day in utilization, he says.
Loret described the new carsharing service as a “great step toward improving mobility for the islanders and its many tourists. This new service is not only more efficient for our business but much more efficient for our customers and the economy of St. Barts.”

“We’re confident Rent Centric’s easy-to-use rental automation technology increases Hertz customer satisfaction and vehicle usage rates while also increasing Hertz St. Bart’s bottom-line,” said Alex Aryafar, Rent Centric’s chief technology officer. “We look forward to their continued success.”