Europcar expects it could halve rental vehicle damage disputes in Australia over the next 12 months through the introduction of a new technology that photographs cars before and after use.
A pilot of the program at Brisbane Airport in 2014 resulted in a 70 per cent* reduction in complaints or disagreements about damage and saw the average number of calls to Europcar regarding damage complaints decrease over 12 months by almost 30 per cent.
It will now be introduced to Europcar’s Melbourne CBD and Adelaide Airport locations from July 2015, with other key locations to follow.
First trialled in the US, the Vehicle Inspection Cameras are a first for the Australian vehicle rental industry.
The system dramatically increases the accuracy of vehicle condition records by using synchronised cameras to timestamp and photograph cars from every angle, creating a detailed history of the vehicle at check out and check in.
Europcar’s Commercial Director Matt Barker said the technology is an essential step forward in building trust between customers and the car rental industry.
“Europcar wants to be the most trusted brand in the vehicle rental market and we are continuing to look at new initiatives that we can introduce to positively impact our customers’ experience,” he said. “The cameras provide a high level of accuracy in the validation of damage and vehicle condition at the start and completion of rental hire. “This is a market first in Australia and we hope the rest of the industry follows suit to provide customers with a greater level of confidence.”
The next stage of the process will be to install further fixed camera solutions in other high traffic Europcar locations, and introduce mobile handheld solutions for lower volume locations. Mr Barker said through partnerships with technology providers, Europcar was committed to creating innovative solutions for its customers. “The insights gained from the Brisbane pilot program reinforce how we can utilise and rely on new technologies to improve the customer experience,” he said.
The introduction of the cameras is part of Europcar’s ongoing strategy to bring greater transparency to the industry and protect customers. The roll-out of the cameras at Melbourne and Adelaide follows other recent customer improvements by Europcar, including making its customer rental agreements and Terms and Conditions simpler and easier to use.
1. Report following completion of 12 month Brisbane project for the trial of Vehicle Inspection Cameras