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Owning a car rental service can be profitable: renting a car often goes hand in hand in business trips and vacations, both for those that don’t want to put mileage on their own vehicles and for those that would rather fly to their destination, but still need a way to get around once they’ve reached it. However, there are numerous concerns that accompany letting strangers borrow something as valuable as a vehicle. It is important that you be able to monitor your assets. Implementing GPS tracking in your rental cars is a great way to do just that.
How Do GPS Trackers Work?
A GPS (short for global positioning system) tracker allows for the monitoring of vehicles, with options ranging from systems that record data for later use to those that are able to instantly relay location data. Some systems even let you set up alerts whenever a driver goes above a certain speed or strays from a set area.
GPS tracking works by using a network of satellites that determine the location of the tracker in relation to those satellites, in the same way that your in-car or portable navigation system does. The difference between a GPS tracker and a navigation system, however, is that the navigation provides your location and directions to your destination while GPS tracking broadcasts location in real time or records driving data for later use.
What Are The Benefits of GPS Tracking?
A large problem that car rental services face is vehicle theft. Perhaps the biggest benefit of GPS tracking is that it helps to minimize car theft since it provides a constant location or location history of the vehicle. In addition to this, rental companies can ensure that their vehicles are being handled with care via services such as speed reporting. Speeding doesn't just lead to faster vehicle deterioration, it's also a main cause of accidents, so it presents a significant risk to your investment.
GPS tracking also gives you quick information about which vehicles are available and currently waiting on your lot (and where) for the next driver. From a purely business standpoint, implementing a GPS tracking system in your vehicles can help to increase customer satisfaction and maintenance costs. A tracking system lets rental services see what the most popular cars are, meaning you can add more of them to your fleet (or replace less popular models) and give your customers what they want. And, since GPS trackers can provide the ability to see how the car is being driven, you can collect the necessary fees for excessive or inappropriate use of the vehicles, cutting down on the out of pocket costs of maintenance and repair. Just remember, you should always use this feature responsibly; never overcharge a renter or exaggerate the damage that was done during the course of renting.
GPS Tracking Solutions for Rental Car Companies
There is more than one type of GPS system out there, with various types of equipment and services available, and it is important that you know the pros and cons of each. Most GPS systems run off of a cellular or satellite network. Cellular systems might be cheaper, but they can also lead to intermittent data collection if the vehicle is being driven through an area with patchy or non-existent network coverage. And, while satellite systems do not have this issue, it should be noted that they do have a higher installation cost than trackers that operate on a cellular network. If you do feel the need to go with a cellular system over satellite, you can pair it with a radio frequency (RF) system that bypasses the need for a constant cellular signal, as RF transmitters can broadcast without the need of a cellular network.
Deciding between the two can be difficult; for smaller rental services the higher cost of implementing a satellite system can be off putting, but the performance is all around better. But, with the proper understanding of the technology and application of the correct equipment, you can make the best choice for your company. There are even GPS tracking equipment providers that offer consulting services throughout the life of your tracking system. This gives you the ability to have the right setup for your GPS tracker from the moment it is installed and the option to upgrade or tweak the type of tracker system later on down the road. A professional assessment gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you have the best possible setup for you and your clientele.
A GPS tracking system cuts the cost a rental service might spend on vehicle maintenance and replacements and can even lower insurance premiums. It is a cost-cutting, theft-deterring option that could be exactly what your company needs. Protect your assets, your customers, and your profits in one decision.