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Car rental customers vote for in-car WiFi over crash-proof cars!

Dublin, 10th June, 2015: If you asked people what they would like to see available in rental cars of the future, what would you expect to hear? Driverless cars that take you anywhere you want? In-car virtual tour guides? Or how about solar-powered cars? These are just a few of the preferences selected by car rental customers participating in the annual CarTrawler Car Rental Customer Report.

In a new section entitled “The future of car rental”, the report reveals that despite their environmentally friendly reputation, only 13% of German respondents showed any interest in solar powered cars compared to a quarter of Americans and Australians surveyed. Meanwhile, almost half of Spanish customers (48%) want green cars in the future. Popular amongst French and Spanish customers and perhaps reflective of busy parking conditions in their countries, was the driverless car that can locate a parking space and park in it (and then send you a message with the car’s location!).

The amphibious car proved most popular with Australians whilst British customers were attracted by the idea of a large family vehicle equipped with a detachable mini-car for city use! And when it comes to pure novelty, 11% of French customers displayed an interest in the in-car coffee machine – the highest percentage for this option of the survey panel.

Despite all of these attractive technological advances, safety and connectivity received the top billing from all nationalities, with WiFi receiving an average of 58% of preferences followed by crash proof cars (55%).

It’s not all fantasy though – our independent Car Rental Customer Report contains plenty of serious commercial facts including:

  • Purchasing and shopping-around behaviour
  • Device usage and online payments
  • Offering the best customer service preferences

To learn more, please download the full 64 page report free of charge here.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Business customers are increasingly price sensitive with 50% of business users always shopping around – this is a five-fold increase in just two years. Read more on page 19.
    • Great advances have been made in car rental but there’s still room for improvement. 82% of survey respondents hold the absence of hidden charges as the most important factor when renting a car. Whilst 62% want ‘flexibility to freely change the drop-off location at no extra cost’ and 40% like the idea of having no paperwork. Read more on page 25.
    • Size matters…in the mobile economy! Two-thirds of respondents registered concern in making a purchase on a smartphone whilst 46% cited screen size as the main reason for this lack of confidence. Read more on page 27.
    • Technology is great but a human voice is still No. 1 with customers. Telephone is the most preferred method of contacting customer care in all markets surveyed. 73% of respondents make it their number one preference followed by email (48%). Read more on page 50.
    • The concept of car-sharing is still new amongst car rental customers. 38% of those surveyed had not heard of it before and only 31% have tried it before. A third of respondents did not think any of the proposed methods have the potential to make a change in this sector; including almost half of respondents from the UK. Read more on page 57.

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Rights free images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/c8llv2lnek8fxxg/AADvJpiUUTrTumNg3WE_KOYDa?dl=0

About the Car Rental Customer Report

This independent 64 page report is based on a survey analysis of 2,000 car rental customers across six countries (UK, France, Germany, USA, Australia and Spain) and includes a new section on the future of car rental. This is the third in a series of annual reports commissioned by CarTrawler to provide industry partners with up to date insights into the car rental customer behaviour, perceptions and trends. The report has been undertaken by ResearchNow (www.researchnow.com) and is available to download free of charge.

About CarTrawler

CarTrawler connects business and leisure customers and online travel retailers with more road and rail transport solutions than they will find anywhere else. Over 70 international airlines and 2,000 travel retailers around the world trust CarTrawler to provide their customers with real-time access to over 1,500 leading and independent car rental agents, coach transfers, rail networks and chauffeur drive services at 30,000 locations in 174 countries. CarTrawler also owns and operates the Holiday Autos and Argus Car Hire brands. The company headquarters and Customer Centre of Excellence are located in Dublin, Ireland, with additional offices in Boston and London. CarTrawler is private equity backed by BC Partners and Insight Venture Partners. For further information, please visit www.cartrawler.com.

For further information, please visit www.cartrawler.com or contact: Evelyn Byrne, Communications Manager:  Telephone: +353 1 218 3810, Email: ebyrne@cartrawler.com