Wednesday May 5, 2021
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Changing mobility - flexible, fast and sustainable!

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A few years ago the buzzwords were traffic, diesel and gasoline, today we are talking about mobility and digitization. But that's not all: Society increasingly expects that individual needs and lifestyles will be taken into account. Establish? That was once. The car as a status symbol? It is becoming less and less important with urbanity. “At the same time, permanent mobility is expected,” says Jens E. Hilgerloh, Managing Director of Starcar Autovermietung and President of the German Association of Car Rental Companies. But how does that fit together?

Flexible, fast and sustainable

Being mobile has become an integral part of society. People commute long distances to work and children and young people often only get to school and friends by vehicle - the range of motion is wider than it used to be. “We are faced with the challenge of adapting mobility to different lifestyles while taking the environment and our personal needs into account,” explains Jens E. Hilgerloh. “The drive on four wheels is still the number one means of transport in terms of individual mobility, but at the same time the relationship to one's own car is changing.” The number of young adults with their own vehicles is falling in particular.

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In contrast to other age groups, the so-called Generation Z practically no longer has an emotional connection to their own car. For them, the car is not a status object, but rather an object of daily use. This is the result of a study carried out by the Center of Automotive Management in Bergisch Gladbach on behalf of the insurance company BNP Paribas Cardif. The reasons for this are often high acquisition and operating costs, constant traffic jams and not to forget the search for a parking space. But what is the alternative to still being mobile?

Long-term rental, the new leasing

An infrastructure is currently being developed that will make it possible to get from A to B without your own car. The observation that car rental companies have been making for some time fits in with this development. "We are seeing more and more inquiries about flexible long-term rentals with monthly cancellations and this search term has also been among the top 5 mobility searches for months in our online analysis of purchasing behavior," said the managing director of Starcar Autovermietung. Particularly small and medium-sized vehicles are requested. “We have recognized this trend and assume that it will continue. For this reason, we are increasingly aligning our fleet with this. In order to be able to implement customer requests in this networked world easily and transparently offline in the stations, Starcar Autovermietung has also developed its own app, which makes it possible to handle the rental process completely digitally right through to vehicle handover.

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A handover at the counter also takes place directly on the iPad, so that the company can already do without paper in its standard processes and thus not only achieve higher customer satisfaction, but also act for the sake of the environment. At the same time, the current hygiene regulations can be implemented even better. "We have even gone one step further and are the first car rental companies to treat both the surfaces of our rental stations and those of our entire fleet with a special anti-germ coating," says Jens E. Hilgerloh. "More than 99,98 percent of all enveloped viruses such as coronaviruses are rendered permanently harmless after a single application." A feeling of security in the current time that many people appreciate. At least that's what the steadily increasing demand at Starcar car rental suggests.

Goal oriented

Faster, more mobile, easier - another dynamic trend is gaining ground, especially in cities. More and more people can be seen here on electric scooters, making their way through the often tough traffic and leasing them as required. Keyword “multimodality”: Depending on the route to be covered, the vehicle that takes you to your destination the quickest is often used, and in the urban jungle that is more and more the agile two-wheeled runabout. "In order to provide our customers with a corresponding offer and at the same time to do justice to the topic of sustainability, we work together with the start-up evectro mobility GmbH", reveals Jens E. Hilgerloh. "In addition to the young company's popular kick scooters, we have also added e-scooters to the fleet."

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The new variety of possibilities shows that owning your own car is rightly becoming less important. The advantages of flexible short-term and long-term rentals are obvious: This “mobility mix” is less individual, but rather shaped by sharing and community. That makes it economically, ecologically and socially sustainable and therefore also future-proof. But in the long term it also requires a change in habits and behavior. Researchers predict, however, that the alternatives will be so attractive and comfortable that a car of your own could become superfluous.

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Of course that had not happened yet!

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