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Coronavirus and Car Hire - what are car rental firms doing to protect hirers?

Car rental is increasingly popular following Covid-19 as hirers look to travel within their bubble - we explain the special measures hire firms are putting in place to protect renters.


Car Hire and Coronavirus Special Measures

Car Hire Firms rush to protect customers from Coronavirus

With car hire firms around the globe looking to ensure users can hire from them with confidence we detail the special measures being put in place.

Our sister company Clarify Car Hire have gone further with special measures being displayed alongside each car on offer, and a filter allowing cars which are subject to Covid-19 cleaning to be easily selected.

Why car hire is a good choice at time of Coronavirus uncertainty

At this time many of us would prefer to travel in the company of only our friends and family, avioiding the risk of spending long periods in the company of those who we don't know.

Whilst aircraft have the benefit of providing some protection in the form of air filtration systems, which remove Covid-19 particles see the WHO report on Covid transmission on board aircraft, the air circulating in vehicles such as trains, coaches and buses does so more freely. Hence the preference amongst many to opt for the privacy of a rental car rather than public transport.

Car hire companies, who have benefited from enhancing their processes during lockdown, when they were busy renting out vans and small commercial vehicles for use by essential services, have used that experience to enhance their processes, both in cleaning and handover processes to reduce any risks to the minimum.

We realise however that our users would like to understand what has been put in place so detail below the arrangements many of the car hire firms we have a relationship have adopted.

UK Car Hire Companies

Easirent

Easirent have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • No branches are closed - although reduced working hours are in place.
  • Locations are operating with skeleton staff and offering self service kiosks and drop boxes to avoid close contact.
  • Large fleets are available.
  • Anti-bacterial wipes are being used on door handles, gear stick, steering wheel and other contact areas.

Green Motion - UK

Green Motion have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Limiting the number of people in offices at any one time.
  • Locations are undergoing regular sanitisation with special attention to touchpoints including door handles, handrails etc.
  • Staff and customer protection screens installed.
  • Floor markings to promote customers to maintain social distancing.
  • Hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes available at the counters.
  • Staff are wearing PPE including masks and gloves.
  • All vehicles are fully valeted utilising recommended anti-bacterial and sanitisation products.
  • All staff will be wearing a lanyard showing the staff member’s photograph due to faces being covered by face masks.

International Brands

Avis and Budget

Avis and Budget have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

    To help protect staff and customers Avis Budget are encouraging regular hand washing, and the use of hand sanitiser, where available.

    The cleaning techniques of their vehicles after each rental have been enhanced. In particular, special attention is paid to the places people touch such as steering wheels, door handles and other hard surfaces.

Enterprise and Alamo

Alamo and Enterprise Team members will adopt the following practices in response to coronavirus:

  • Limiting the number of employees in a location.
  • Using social distancing between each other.
  • Staying home if they are feeling ill.
  • Frequently washing hands.
  • Frequently disinfecting touchable surfaces.
  • Minimising customer interaction at vehicle pickup or delivery.
  • Ensuring local teams have supplies and resources needed.
  • Additionally, all employees have been made aware that if they ever feel uncomfortable with working in a physical location, they are under absolutely no obligation to work.
Alamo and Enterprise Cars and Vans will, as well as vacuuming and general wipe-down cleaning, be using a disinfectant to sanitise key areas between every rental as follows:
  • Key & key fob.
  • Centre consoles, cup holders & compartments and areas between seat/console & seat/doorjambs.
  • Dashboard.
  • Instrument Panels.
  • Steering Wheel and Column.
  • Accessory panel.
  • Door interior, handles (interior and exterior) and pockets.
  • Mirrors and other high touch areas.
Measures are also in place to immediately isolate and quarantine any vehicle if needed.

Europcar

Vehicles will be subject to rigorous cleaning measures after each rental, as well as a 'zero contact' policy with Europcar Mobility Group employees in stations in response to coronavirus.

Hertz

Hertz have put a number of measures in place in response to coronavirus including enhanced cleaning methods at all locations and on shuttle buses including using approved disinfectant to regularly wipe down high-touch areas such as door handles, counters, kiosks and other hard surfaces.

They are using more alcohol-based hand sanitisers and asking employees to take important hygiene steps, including frequent hand washing and staying home if unwell.

A rigorous cleaning process has been adopted which includes priority areas such as door handles, steering wheels, dashboards, consoles, seats, etc.

New cleaning protocols include removing the vehicle from circulation and disinfecting through a third party in any cases where a customer is suspected or known to have COVID-19.

Surprice

The company are implementing measures to keep clients, employees and the communities they operate in safe.

Surprice are following all protocols regarding hygiene rules in both offices and vehicles around the world in order to prevent any the risk of coronavirus spreading.

European Car Hire Companies

Airauto - Portugal

Airauto have received the distinction of Clean & Safe from Turismo de Portugal. This means they have fulfilled all the hygiene measures that the Portuguese government and European Union have legislated. Due to coronavirus, Airauto have implemented the following processes:

  • Social distancing must be adhered to and there are floor markings to assist with this.
  • Only the driver is able to enter the office, passengers and families must stay in the sheltered outdoor waiting area.
  • All customers will have to wear masks when in offices or the shuttle bus.
  • The shuttle bus will have a maximum of 4 passengers in per trip to help keep as much distance between people as possible and the bus will be disinfected every 5 trips through vaporising and will be sprayed with disinfectant every trip.
  • All rental vehicles interior and exterior are sanitised and disinfected after each rental.

AVIA - Spain

AVIA are encouraging regular hand washing and face masks are available for staff. Hand sanitiser is available on all counters. Counters are also being cleaned regularly with specialist disinfectant and cleaning products.

Vehicles are being cleaned internally and externally with specialist products and disinfectant.

Best Deal - Portugal

Best Deal are ensuring they adhere to the Portuguese Government guidance to protect both hirers and staff from coronavirus.

Carwiz - Croatia

In response to coronavirus, CARWIZ have implemented a number of special measures. Cars are provided with a protective film covering the the gear lever and steering wheel of each vehicle - these are removed by the staff in front of the customers so that they themselves can be assured the vehicle has been disinfected.

Staff are provided a disinfectant and certain quantities of cotton pads in every office to ensure increased hand and surface disinfection is adopted for both staff and customers.

Alcohol hand sanitisers, vehicle disinfectants, seat covers, and cotton pads are provided.

Disinfectant and disposable hygiene wipes are provided on the office counter for client use.

Centauro - Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece

Centauro have a sticker that will go across the driver door stating that the car has been disinfected and is coronavirus free. If the sticker is broken then the customer will know that someone has opened the door.

Click Rent - Spain

Click Rent have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Face masks and gloves have been provided for the use staff.
  • All employees are following protocol and maintaining social distancing. Employees are not permitted to touch customers ‘personal belongings.
  • Dispensers with antiseptic hand gel and disposable antiseptic wet wipes are available for both staff and customers to use.
  • Before being rented, all vehicles are treated by internal spraying with a bioactive product to ensure complete disinfection.

Del Paso - Spain

Del Paso have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Hand sanitising gel dispensers have been installed in their office.
  • An ozone generator is being used to clean and disinfect the cars.
  • A 70% alcohol disinfectant to clean the interior of the cars and all the surfaces.

Green Motion - Austria, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Serbia and Sweden

Green Motion have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Limiting the number of people in offices at any one time.
  • Locations are undergoing regular sanitisation with special attention to touchpoints including door handles, handrails etc.
  • Staff and customer protection screens installed.
  • Floor markings to promote customers to maintain social distancing.
  • Hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes available at the counters.
  • Staff are wearing PPE including masks and gloves.
  • All vehicles are fully valeted utilising recommended anti-bacterial and sanitisation products.
  • All staff will be wearing a lanyard showing the staff member’s photograph due to faces being covered by face masks.

Guerin - Portugal

Guerin have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Frequent cleaning of locations.
  • Mandatory use of masks and gloves by all staff.
  • Social distancing adopted for all human interactions.
  • All cars thoroughly disinfected between hires.
  • Reduced people at locations and involved in car processing.

Locauto - Italy

The following video details the deep cleaning being adopted by Locauto in response to coronavirus:

Mex Rent a Car - Poland

Mex Rent a Car have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Cleaning procedures to meet international sanitary standards for all vehicles.
  • Staff adopting special hygiene measures, again to international standards.
  • All locations remain open, although some are working reduced hours following flight changes.

Mocar - Spain

Mocar have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Special procedures have been introduced to ensure deep cleaning is effective.
  • Gloves and masks are used at all times, and when cars are left for pickup at the airport the key will be left in the ignition meaning that there has been no human contact post cleaning

OK Rent a Car - Spain and Portugal

OK Rent a Car have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Mandatory use of mask and gloves for staff cleaning vehicles, cleaning the interior (handles, window controls, steering wheel, dashboard, buttons etc) with disinfectant and using an Ozone machine on the interior. The exterior of the vehicle is also deeply cleaned.
  • Their offices are being cleaned in both the morning and at midday, with special attention paid to the common areas, alcohol based sanitiser is available for both staff and customers.
  • Shuttle buses are cleaned 2 or 3 times a day, this includes cleaning of the interior of the vehicle and use of an Ozone machine. Masks and gloves are mandatory.

Sicily by Car - Italy

Sicily by Car have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Hand sanitiser is available for all customers and staff will be wearing face masks, gloves and/or a protective visor. Plastic panels/perspex dividers have been installed at desks so there is a barrier between customers and staff.
  • All offices are being deep cleaned daily and there are red lines on the floor to ensure it is easy to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Each vehicle will be thoroughly cleaned inside and out before and after each rental using alcohol based cleaners and disinfectants. Any additional equipment such as child seats or navigating devices will also be deep cleaned. Staff will be wearing protective equipment whilst carrying out cleaning. There are stickers sealing the vehicles doors so that customers can see they have been sanitised.

SIXT - Malta

SIXT Malta are currently not operating due to government guidelines. We will update this page once we have further information on what measures have been put in place.

Car Hire companies outside Europe

Adobe - Costa Rica

Adobe have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Refunds for early returns: in the event that a customer has already begun their rent and decides to shorten their trip for reasons related to the threat of COVID-19, the company will reimburse the unused amounts of the service, billing only for the used portion.
  • Adopted a consistent and daily disinfection campaign of the common areas.
  • Using a liquid disinfectant to clean the internal surfaces of all vehicles at each rental
  • Washing and disinfecting our shuttle vans for customers transportation from/to the Airports 3 times a day

Drive-A-Matic - Antigua, Barbados and St Lucia

Drive-A-Matic have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Increased cleaning of the interior and exterior of the vehicle with a particular focus on touch points, e.g. handles, steering wheel.
  • Frequent disinfection of the common areas in offices.
  • Hand sanitiser available for all customers and staff.

Eastcoast Car Rental - Australia

Eastcoast have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Every high contact area in their offices, including counter surfaces and terminals, are cleaned with disinfectant every 2 hours.
  • Hand sanitised dispensers are available for all customers and employees.
  • The interior of their shuttle buses are disinfected at least three times a day.
  • All high contact areas and surfaces in the interior of rental cars are cleaned with disinfectant between every rental.

First Car - South Africa

First Car have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Within the branches, hand wipes and hand sanitiser are available for staff and customers, counters and touch screens are wiped down very regularly and staff and customers are required to wear face masks in branches. Any staff with flu-like symptoms are sent home and temperatures are taken from staff and customers and are required to be below 38C.
  • In terms of the rental vehicles, they are all deep cleaned with specialist disinfectants and detergents and vaccuumed. Touch points within the vehicle are wiped down with alcohol based sanitiser. Once the vehicle has been delivered to the branch or pick up point by a member of the First Car team, the vehicle is once again wiped down. Staff are also wearing masks and gloves.
  • Social distancing is maintained in the offices.

GO Rentals - New Zealand

GO Rentals have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • ALL customers must complete online check in via an App meaning all paperwork will have been completed in advance of Pick Up, and that on pick up only the keys need collecting.
  • Car cleaning includes special sanitisation being used in all car groups.
  • Go Rentals will check with hirers prior to pickup to ensure that the reason for travel is genuine.

Green Motion - Canada, Costa Rica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Morocco, Reunion, Turkey, the UAE and USA (Orlando only)

Green Motion have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Limiting the number of people in offices at any one time.
  • Locations are undergoing regular sanitisation with special attention to touchpoints including door handles, handrails etc.
  • Staff and customer protection screens installed.
  • Floor markings to promote customers to maintain social distancing.
  • Hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes available at the counters.
  • Staff are wearing PPE including masks and gloves.
  • All vehicles are fully valeted utilising recommended anti-bacterial and sanitisation products.
  • All staff will be wearing a lanyard showing the staff member’s photograph due to faces being covered by face masks.

Island Rent a Car - Jamaica

Island Rent a Car have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • All vehicles are fully sanitised before and after rentals.
  • Hand sanitiser available at all offices for clients to use.
  • Temperature checks carried out on all staff each morning and anyone with a fever or any signs of illness are sent home.
  • All staff wear face masks.

Mex Rent a Car - Mexico

Mex Rent a Car have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Cleaning procedures to meet international sanitary standards for all vehicles.
  • Staff adopting special hygiene measures, again to international standards.
  • All locations remain open, although some are working reduced hours following flight changes.

Movida - Brazil

Movida have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Deep cleaning of vehicles is being undertaken.
  • Additional cleaning of offices being carried out.

Payless - Costa Rica

Payless Costa Rica have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • All cars are deep cleaned between rentals so that sanitisation can be guaranteed.
  • Branches are open, although the company are working shorter hours in accordance with flight schedules.

Routes - Canada and US

Routes have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Previously cleaning has been enhanced with the addition of alcohol-based disinfectants to wipe all surfaces of rental vehicles.
  • Similar cleaning carried out to all office surfaces.
  • Staff adopting frequent hand-washing to avoid infection, as well as staying at home if feeling ill and consulting a physician.

Thrifty - Costa Rica

Thrifty Costa Rica have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Rigorous multi-step cleaning process in place between rentals.
  • Hand sanitisers available at all offices.
  • Government processes being followed.

Thrifty - New Zealand

Thrifty New Zealand have implemented the following in response to coronavirus:

  • Extra disinfecting of the main touch points such as the steering wheel, gear lever, handbrake, audio system etc as well as ensuring these same areas are sanitised after our staff park up the vehicle
  • Keys are left in the car after being sanitised to prevent human contact
  • Pre registration (Qbuster) process to avoid the need for customers to sopend time at the desk

This content was last reviewed on 05/06/2020