Following about a year in development Bidvest Car Rental has introduced South Africa’s first keyless car rental fleet with the launch of its app, Snappdrive.
Snappdrive combines flexibility and convenience, free of any queuing and human intervention and allows for a seamless transition from plane to car saving customers valuable time whenever they travel.
“When we embarked on our re-branding strategy, we saw it as an opportunity to be seen as even more professional, innovative, entrepreneurial, streamlined and helpful,” says Paulette McGhee, CEO of Bidvest Car Rental. “‘Because every minute counts’ is not just an attitude; it’s an appreciation that efficiency is a key driver and that we at Bidvest Car Rental understand that whether you are on business or on holiday, every minute of your journey is important to you.
“So while our focus has been on ensuring a seamless transition for our customer we have been working hard behind the scenes to deliver a quick and efficient car rental experience.
“The future is mobile – making it fast, easy and simple for employees and customers,” she adds. “Our mobile devices are changing how we live, have made new things possible and created a new market place where customers now want us to come to them. We have therefore decided to shift our service forward into the future, making what we do easier, smarter and simpler.”
Most often, car rental happens at the end of an arduous travel process, McGhee explains. “With Snappdrive, we eliminate any further hassle or waiting, with the traveller’s phone leading them straight to their waiting vehicle. Our brand positioning ‘because every minute counts’ is a bold promise and this new offering talks to that promise.”
The app will allow users to locate their car, via their phone’s built-in GPS, as well as unlock and start their vehicles without a physical key. Once customers have found their vehicle, they press the “unlock” button on the app and to start the engine, they simply press the “start” button. Users receive an SMS prior to when the car is due back – this provides an opportunity for the customers to extend their rental period should they wish to do so.
“It really is as simple as ‘arrive, unlock and drive’,” says Gaynor Von Loggenburg, executive for sales and marketing at Bidvest Car Rental.
With telematics, Bidvest will be able to track every vehicle, which means real time fleet management for both Bidvest and their customers. “We will be able to collect real time data on speed, mileage and fuel usage,” says Wayne Mee, Bidvest’s project champion.
“Innovation is everywhere and it is pleasing that Bidvest have been first to introduce this logical evolution for the Car Rental Industry”, says Bidvest Automotive CEO Steve Keys. “The technology puts Bidvest Car Rental ahead of its rivals in delivering an enhanced customer experience and will introduce a competitive advantage that resonates with our brand promise.”
The new app, which is live today in Apple’s App store and Google Play store is designed to handle the entire Car Rental process. “Hovever, we have opted to launch with basic functionality and then roll out in quick phase updates” says McGhee.
For the first phase, the product will be available only to Bidvest’s Car Rental Corporate customers and deployed in a separate vehicle group at the four major locations; OR Tambo, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and King Shaka airports. Phase two will be introduced to premium vehicle Groups and other markets with some great value add functionality to Bidvest customers, with the date for phase two, still to be announced.