Hertz has decided to go all-in to the car sharing market. Hertz 24/7 enables customers to self-rent cars whenever they want. The concept was pioneered by ZipCar and is now being adopted by one the world’s largest car rental services.
It is a solution that eliminates all of the hassles of renting a car—the long lines, pick-up and drop-off in the same location, under-compensated and under-qualified rental car employees, etc. etc. etc. etc.
The decision is revolutionary in that it will change the way the rental car industry operates. It is a big step to eliminating the entire concept of “renting cars” and embracing the world of “car sharing.”
It clearly is a “no-duh” concept that was revolutionized outside the mainstream rental car business, but is now being adopted by the big-guys.
The program, like car share revolutionary company ZipCar, will allow customers to rent a wide variety of vehicles near their home or work when needed and for any length of time -- hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. Customers can pick up a car in one location, and drop it off at another. (note: ZipCar was recently purchased by Avis).
Hertz 24/7 expands a toe-dip the company has been testing for some time. It’s 35,000-car self-serve fleet scattered throughout the U.S., France, Germany, U.K., Spain and Australia will expand to over 500,000 under the new program and the company estimates that by 2016, it will have self-serve vehicles within minutes of the majority of the United States population. At that point, Hertz 24/7's fleet would be more than ten times the size of the current car sharing industry combined
It is clearly a concept whose time has come. We use ATMs to bank, self-checkout to shop, Amazon to buy goods, and apps to do everything from call a cab to make reservations and book hotel rooms. Why do we need to pick up a rental car from a single location and check in with an employee who does little more than hand us a key and check our driver’s license?
Most (if not all) of the credit for this concept goes to ZipCar, who revolutionized this industry. With Hertz 24/7 technology-enhanced vehicles will be available close to where customers live or work. Urban and suburban customers will be able to "Click. Swipe. Go!" Click on hertz247.com or hertz.com from your mobile device or laptop and complete the simple 24/7 reservation process in a few minutes. The car will only be minutes away and Swipe the 24/7 key fob against the reader on the windshield to unlock the doors. Then Go!, after retrieving the keys tethered to the dashboard.
Viva la car sharing. RIP rental car experience.
This may never happen again:
Rental car image courtesy of Shutterstock