Green Motion UK’s MD has urged the rental industry to address customers’ fears around coronavirus contamination by ensuring vehicles undergo deep cleans after each hire.
Sian Marston says the car rental company has instructed all franchisees to increase the stringency of cleaning procedures, ensuring that each vehicle is thoroughly cleaned and wiped down after it has been returned to the depot using effective anti-viral cleaning products such as those containing isopropanol.
“Unfortunately, public transport is likely to take a hit due to people being unwilling to travel in places used by so many people,” he said.
“With the best will in the world, it’s going to be very hard for train and bus companies to maintain the high standards of cleanliness that we really need now.
“We anticipate that instead of flying, taking the train or coach, more people will opt to drive. For some, this means hiring cars. However, many of our customers are understandably concerned about transference of infection.
“As an industry, we need to ensure that we are ready and that we have done our bit by ensuring the highest standards of hygiene.”
Many of Green Motion’s branches are located near airports and in city centres, and as such are anticipating some losses from the reduction in air travel.
However, they believe that this could be offset by people opting for car rental as a safer and more hygienic form of travel than public transport.
With many countries in lockdown, it’s also likely that more people will opt to holiday in the UK this summer which could also help the vehicle hire industry.
TFL reported a 19% drop in passengers on the underground last week and a 10% decrease on buses, figures which are likely to rise as more people opt to work from home or self-isolate.
“No one can really know the full impact of coronavirus on the economy as a whole or the car rental industry,” continued Marston. “However, we can do our bit to offer customers some peace of mind and help keep them safe.”
Green Motion was launched in 2006 and there are now more than 400 Green Motion branches worldwide, with 29 branches in the UK.