There is a growing competition in the transportation industry. A competition that’s mainly between private passenger transport. This is between rental companies and mostly ride sharing companies. With the continued growth of the ride-sharing and ride-hailing services, car rentals might find themselves in a hole that could make travelers forget rentals or only see them as a third or fourth option when traveling abroad. In fact, the new services such as Uber, VTC or Tourism Vehicle with Chauffeur, and also a new type of service which is called Car and Away, all create a possibility of a cheaper service for passengers as opposed to rentals. So why are car rentals in trouble?
We are living in an era where everything is designed to be easy for use, and doesn’t require much thought. Most importantly, everything created is now designed to be environmentally friendly. Which is an important factor in the ride-sharing concept. Ride sharing can also be described as carpooling. This means multiple riders can ride in the same vehicle for a trip, and also, the fees can also be equally split. Uber has created a carpooling branch for their company called uberPOOL. Ride-sharing can be a great idea for people who feel a certain social or environmental obligation. It can also be great for trips between friends or family.
Similar to ride-sharing, ride-hailing is about hailing for a cab which will take you to your desired destination. However, it isn’t exactly the same as screaming or whistling in the streets for a taxi to pull over, the user hails a taxi via an application. There are many companies that can be called using a smart phone application such as Lyft and many more. So many countries are developing their own versions of the service due to its constant success. Both Lyft and Uber have their own fees, but both aren’t as expensive. Trying both is a good way to really see the difference. And since we are living in a digital era, payments will be made directly from the user’s credit card, so you won’t even have to worry about making sure if you have enough cash in your wallet. You can just get up and leave when you reach your destination.
Opposed to both services mentioned previously, VTC or Vehicule de Tourisme avec Chauffeur in French also known as Private Cars with Chauffeurs in English, are a somewhat similar yet different type of service. As a matter of fact, VTC is a far more professional service, since most companies offer high-end vehicles with professional drivers who are certified in passenger transport. VTCs are usually found throughout Europe and Brussels is an example of a city who offers services from Brussels airport to Antwerp or your chosen destination. Also the fares are already fixed for private cars with chauffeurs, so the passenger will always know how much he/she will spend.
Nowadays, tourists prefer using a country’s public transportation service to move around a city. Many still use rentals but usually those who use rentals are familiar to the area and do not see a large language barrier. Also rentals can be a bit more expensive, granted the customer will have to pay for fuel, insurance, and other things which are necessary when renting a car. However, renting a car gives a certain sense of freedom because for a few days, it is your own personal car, meaning you can do just about anything and go anywhere you’d like. Everyone is looking for an alternative nowadays, though. And with the growing popularity of the new passenger transportation services and their low fares, car rentals might no longer have a firm grasp on the tourism department.