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Safe travels | Health and safety is a top priority for car rental companies

The world may slowly be opening up and things creeping back to normal, but the risks posed by Covid-19 are far from over. People have learned hard lessons and there's no guarantee that this pandemic is the last of its kind.
Safe travels | Health and safety is a top priority for car rental companies

As such, many things will have changed forever even long after this current danger has passed. That’s why car rental companies have taken a new approach to their clients' health and safety.

According to Europcar South Africa, “With the implementation of Level-4 restrictions as from 1 May 2020, Car Rental, Van Rental and Chauffeur Services may now operate in support of companies, organisations and individuals who have had restrictions lifted or eased and who can now operate in terms of the Level-4 guidelines.” So, if you are concerned about your employees having to use public transport to get to work and you need to go about finding Europcar rental in South Africa to get them there safely or report for duty yourself, you know you’re in safe hands.

Health and safety measures in place for car hire companies

Europcar has made their safety measures widely known and has supported the lockdown since the start. During the lockdown, only three locations were in operation to support essential services. All along, the company has had a comprehensive health and safety plan in place to keep their customers and employees safe during the pandemic.

Now that restrictions are easing, they’re showing no signs of slowing down on their stringent safety measures.

This is what’s in place for Europcar and most car hire companies throughout the country.

All call centres and online booking channels remain open as normal, although only branches in key areas will be open for business. There are no changes to the products and vehicles on offer.

Most of the changes centre on ramping up hygiene and safety standards for their branches and vehicle sanitising as well as their employees, as follows:

  • Branches are cleaned and sanitised more frequently.
  • Social distancing is enforced wherever people are confined together.
  • Floor decals and revised queuing layouts are in place at all branches.
  • Face masks are compulsory for all staff members.
  • Counter screens are in place to limit the spread of infection.
  • Ongoing temperature screening of employees and customers entering the premises.
  • Sanitisation of all keys, pens, and credit card machines after each transaction.

tringent vehicle cleanliness has always been paramount to car hire companies and has been increased to include extensive sanitisation as each rental is returned to the branch.

All hard surfaces are now sanitised by one of the car hire company drivers with an approved formula, including:

  • All inside and outside door and boot handles
  • Steering wheels, gear levers and hand brakes
  • Safety belt buckles
  • Rear view mirrors
  • All the vehicle controls

nce the process is complete, the driver leaves a hanger on the steering wheel as proof that the process is complete. This is in place to ensure no vehicle leaves the branch unless it’s been thoroughly sanitised first.

Each car is now equipped with a bottle of hand sanitiser for the client’s use too.

All car hire employees showing any signs of illness have been isolated and contact between employees is strictly limited. As far as possible, employees are working from home and where that’s impossible, shifts have been split to limit person-to-person contact. Interbranch interactions have been strictly curtailed.

Access controls have been replaced with no-touch methods and access to common areas is restricted as far as possible.

Ongoing education, handwashing, social distancing, and hand sanitiser are now part of the new normal at Europcar.

The future of car hire

Travel may be off the cards for now but once normality starts to return, car hire clients can rest easy knowing that every possible precaution has been taken to ensure the ongoing safety of car hire vehicles.

By acting quickly and decisively in these trying times, car hire companies have set the wheels in motion for new standards across the transport industry, which is where all the trouble began in the first place.

In this way they’ve assured themselves of a future where hiring a rental car could become preferable to public transport, which is difficult to manage with regard to social distancing and sanitisation.

25 May 2020 18:06