The Car Rental Climate
The car rental industry has seen a tumultuous last 3 years and has continued to weather graveled roads, with the high inflationary market being its next pit-stop. When the pandemic hits in 2020, the global car rental industry experienced around a 30% decline in demand as compared to previous year 2019. Hence, some car rental companies were thus forced to downsize to manage cash flow to ensure continuity of the business.
As companies downsized during the pandemic to cope with the semiconductor shortage and lower demand over the pandemic years, it was a challenge globally for car rental companies to swing back to the full force of things after business was being affected by changing travel and commuting patterns in the last few years. Due to the reduced supply of cars, car rental prices, amongst all other means of transport, have gone up. Hence, catering for some leeway in the budget around car rental is something off of the commuter’s mind.
As borders open up, road trips and international travels have swung back in full force, where demand and prices for short term car rental experienced an uptick. As the current climate started to recover, so did the car rental demand. Therein lies the issue of excess demand of rental cars, and not enough cars supplied to the growing needs of the commuters.
What Should Car Rental Customers Do?
At BizLink Rent-A-Car, we believe that customer’s satisfaction is key and that the car rental journey should be a fuss free one. Taking these macro effects of the economy into account, here’s how we can advise customers on how to navigate around this inflationary market.
1. Choose Cars that Fit your Commuting Style
It’s easy to over-promise on a car that is way over your budget, especially on a vacation as it may be seen as an occasional splurge. Our suggestion is to plan beforehand the “Must-Haves” and “Good-to-Haves” before committing to a rented car. Alternatively, consider hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles or the “Eco-Mode” as it helps reduce the amount of petrol usage
2. Use Credit Cards Linked to Petrol Kiosks to Get Discounts
For long term car rental, expat car rental or corporate car rental customers, one can consider tapping on different credit cards and promotions to reap the benefits of the discounts and rebates available for every petrol top up. When using some of these petrol credit cards alongside with the petrol company’s loyalty programs, one can attain up to 15% – 24% of discounts, off-setting the fuel tax. For short term car rental customers, one can take note of the varying differences in prices between petrol companies to attain greater savings for each rental.
3. Know where to get the best oil prices from petrol kiosks
As oil prices fluctuate with the market, research on which petrol kiosk has the best oil prices could help save a dollar or two. For more information on oil prices research, check out: Navigating Through the Oil Price Spike for Car Rental Customers. Moreover, it is helpful to know the different and latest rates of petrol prices for each petrol kiosk prices, and it can be found with the help of our article: The Cost of Different Types of Petrol for Rental Cars in Singapore.
4. Join Car Rental Loyalty Programs For Exclusive Rates
Car rental loyalty programmes are a commonly seen phenomenon in car rental companies overseas. For travelers that frequently require car rental overseas where renting cars are commonplace as a way of commuting, joining a rental car loyalty programme could entitle you to various discount rates, and the accumulation of points to redeem either cash back or earn miles to be spent with partnering airlines and hotels.
5. Book your Rental Car Early
Concerned about the price hikes and car rental companies not having the car that you require during your short term car rental? We’d recommend that it’s best to book your car rental early to more importantly ensure that you get the car that you need, rather than to spend unnecessarily on an upgrade just to satisfy your commuting needs.
6. Have Good Driving Habits
Research has shown how driving aggressively (think sudden accelerations and brakes), could lead to a 10-40% reduction of fuel efficiency. Cruise at a steady speed when possible or switch to “cruise control” mode to ensure that no unnecessary acceleration is carried out. This may significantly reduce the amount of load on the engines and renters could save on fuel costs as well. Moreover, it is good to keep windows closed when driving. In Singapore, due to the hot and humid climate, most drivers would keep the windows closed to maintain the cold temperature in the car. By doing so, this allows for the aerodynamism of the car to work for itself, and to maximise efficiency of the air con as it would not have to work extra hard to keep the car cool, hence consuming less fuel.
7. Have a Good Look at Car Maintenance Procedures
A well maintained car is an efficient car. Hence, ensure that the car is well maintained with clean air filters, appropriately inflated tyres and well working brakes and accelerators for the car to be working at its optimal efficiency. Check with your car rental company on their car maintenance policies to ensure that the rental car is properly taken care of, for the benefit of your comfort, safety, and cost efficiency.
8. Skip the Add-Ons
Check the car rental contract to see if there are any unnecessary Add-Ons that can be excluded from your rental package as these Add-Ons are sometimes available in the “Free Version”. The in-build GPS Add-Ons, Free-Wifi, Satellite Radio are a few such examples. One simple solution is to bring along your own phone mount and charging cable for all GPS and entertainment needs and you’re good to go!
9. Avoid Unnecessary Fees
Read the fine prints of the car rental contract to be clear on the terms and conditions to ensure that you do not incur any unnecessary fees and surcharges. Common fees include: Late return, Airport Surcharge, Empty Tank Surcharge and Credit card Surcharge.
10. Lastly, Get Travel Insurances with Car Rental Excess Benefits
Getting travel insurance with car rental excess benefit could help with covering expenses incurred in the event of an accident. In the case of accidents, car rental companies would require the customer to fork out the “Excess” out of pocket to be paid before the insurance covers the rest. Excess is the amount that one is liable to pay should one experience an accident or if the rental car has been damaged. At times, the excess could be quite steep and this is where the insurance comes in handy.
Rent A Car at BizLink Rent-A-Car Pte Ltd!
With the help of our sales associates at BizLink Rent-A-Car Pte Ltd., we would be able to do our best to advise you on any questions that you have on your car rental, provide petrol tips, and cost saving tips to guide you along your rental journey to ensure a smooth journey throughout your rental period.