Car rental has been badly affected since it relies on air traffic for a lot of its business. Many companies have had to effectively suspend their operations as travel restrictions have kept people in their homes. As a result of the lowered demand, airport car lots are filling up with unused vehicles and some companies have had to rent additional off-site parking to store extra vehicles or to reduce the size of their fleet. Hertz has announced temporary closures of almost 600 locations while Avis announced cost saving measures that include a 70% reduction in its workforce and a 20% reduction in its fleet. COVID-19 is also having a negative impact on the vehicle leasing industry.
Many customers whose leases are due to expire have reported difficulty in returning leased vehicles. Dealerships have closed their sales departments and no longer have staff on site to inspect returned vehicles even if they have the space to store them. Many dealers are offering deferred payment options to customers to convince them to extend their leases. Although, the rental and leasing industry has suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, there could be increased demand for companies offering flexible rental options as well as car subscription services like Zoomcar as lockdown restrictions ease. One reason for this is that some customers may see it as a more hygienic option than public transport.
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