Auto-rental company Hertz Global Holdings Inc. is expanding its presence in the car-sharing sphere by making more of its fleet accessible to customers throughout the day for short- or long-term rentals.
The company currently has 35,000 vehicles in the U.S. equipped with the technology that enables Hertz’ 24/7 service, which allows drivers to rent or reserve a vehicle at any time of the day, and for any length of time. By 2016, Hertz expects to have about 500,000 vehicles worldwide equipped for 24/7 rental.
At that point, Hertz 24/7’s fleet would be more than ten times the size of the current car-sharing industry combined, the company said.
“Technology-enhanced vehicles will be available close to where customers live or work, making it easier than ever to reserve and quickly pick up a rental vehicle at the customer’s convenience,” Hertz CEO Mark Frissora said in a statement.
But making the service more widespread won’t mean a larger Hertz fleet. Hertz will not be buying more vehicles for the 24/7 service, a Hertz spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail to Automotive News.
In 2012, Hertz’ U.S. fleet averaged about 366,000 vehicles, while that of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. -- which Hertz bought last August for about $2.6 billion -- was about 122,000, according to Auto Rental News. Hertz’ U.S. fleet is second among rental companies, behind the roughly 941,000 at Enterprise Holdings Inc., which owns the Enterprise, Alamo and National brands.
Hertz expects to have the 24/7 service available in more than 2,000 locations worldwide by the end of the year, up from 1,800 airport and neighborhood locations in the United States, Spain, Germany, France, Australia, and the United Kingdom today.
The 24/7-equipped vehicles have Hertz’s on-demand technology, which allows customers to rent and reserve a nearby vehicle on short notice, change their rental needs from inside the car, and enter and start the vehicle using different methods, such as by swiping a membership card or entering a command on a smart phone.
Registered members of the service pick up their key fob from a Hertz location during business hours or receive it in the mail.
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