Vehicle rentals are the latest fleet industry segment to face the long-term impacts of the pandemic. It’s important to mention that before COVID-19 they were facing market pressures. In recent years, ride-sharing companies and other emerging markets added competition to the space. But when COVID-19 hit, the travel industry almost came to a halt due to the strict travel restrictions. Thus, vehicle rental companies had no choice but to regularly review their assets and organizational structure throughout the year; resulting in reorganizations including decreased staffing levels and vehicle inventory, in some cases.
Now the semiconductor shortage is impacting rental orders. There have been reports of OEMs canceling or drastically delaying new vehicle orders. In some cases, SUVs, trucks and vans are experiencing the largest shortfalls.
Rental vehicle acquisition tips
As always, we recommend determining your vehicle acquisition needs as early as possible. Factory ordering is still the best method of receiving vehicles. Order early and prepare back-up selections in terms of color, package, model, etc. With cut-off dates being closed or shortened with little to no notice, it’s important to act ahead.
Also consider pool vehicle solutions if you find yourself routinely seeking out long-term rentals. They are a cost-effective alternative to rentals. Wheels Pool, for example, allows clients to conveniently access vehicles whenever a need arises.
If your business model or other circumstances still require you to rely on rental vehicles, we recommend the following tips:
Understand the order timing needed for your vehicle acquisition needs for the upcoming year.
Identify the type of vehicle rentals needed (vehicle, commercial van, work truck, etc.), length of term, and locations.
Discuss rental needs with your fleet management company to place orders.
Monitor rental usage.
As always, we’re closely monitoring the shortages among rental vehicle providers. Please reach out to a member of your Wheels Account Team or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.