While the coronavirus pandemic has a large portion of the world's population staying indoors, some people may still need to travel for work and other necessary reasons. Options for long-distance travel are limited, with public transit being reduced and concern over shared services like scooters or bikes.
Consumer Reports spoke to industry experts to compile a guide regarding rental car and ride hailing safety during COVID-19:
- While ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft have provided cleaning supplies to drivers to frequently disinfect cars, Founder and CEO of The Rideshare Guy Harry Campbell advised against taking such services. While Uber and Lyft are providing paid leave for drivers who get sick or are under quarantine orders, asymptomatic drivers could still pas on the illness.
- Taxis are slightly safer bet than ride-hailing, as most taxis have partitions between the driver and passengers. However, cleaning procedures varry among companies. It is advised to ask the dispatcher about specific cleaning practices.
- Both peer-to-peer and traditional carsharing come with cleaning challenges, as the business model allows for quick sharing among customers. It is advised to opt for an extended rental, so the renter can thoroughly clean and disinfect the vehicle.
- While many rental companies have updated their cleaning protocols to be more rigorous, experts still advise for renters wipe down surfaces with a disinfect as an extra layer of precaution.