Before the pandemic, when you returned your rental car, it got cleaned, but probably not right away. And the cleaning process was not as diligent as it is today. A rental car employee may have thrown away a candy wrapper that your passenger left under a seat, quickly wiped the interior and hosed off the outside of the car. The car also probably received a fresh-smelling deodorizer spritz before it made its way to the next driver. But now, commuters who want to drive rather than take crowded airplanes and trains are expecting a whole new level of clean. They are demanding that all aspects of the interior of the vehicle – from the steering wheel to the entertainment system to the door locks – are thoroughly disinfected using eco-friendly, bacteria-killing cleaning products.
According to the research compiled by the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility, expense and convenience have traditionally played key deciding roles when customers choose transport modes. Now, in a pandemic environment that sees no quick fix, mitigating the chance of infection has become the top motivator in choosing a mode of transportation. Cleanliness has even overtaken destination time in the level of importance for travelers.
So, what are rental companies doing to ensure your drive is bacteria and contagion free?
Many, such as Enterprise, have implemented a multi-point cleaning checklist that they promote in an effort to ease travelers’ anxiety about renting a vehicle. They have also introduced new cleaning product requirements to ensure all cars are being disinfected at the same level. Before the pandemic, some rental car companies left it up to the individual locations to choose their disinfecting products based on what was available to them. That is no longer the case. Some companies, such as Avis and Budget, only choose CDC-recommended and EPA certified products that are known to be effective against the COVID-19 virus.
Hertz takes it a step further by placing a “Hertz Gold Standard Clean” sticker over the driver’s door. The seal is only broken when the driver accesses the vehicle for the first time. That sticker indicates that the vehicle has been disinfected as a last step when it was moved to its final location.
Many rental car companies and detailers are now turning to NuVinAir Global, a Dallas-based company that offers a patented cleaning process and proprietary product line. NuVinAir’s EPA-approved disinfectant cleaner, ReKlenz-X, safely kills 99.9% of germs, bacteria, and viruses, while its patented Cyclone technology removes contaminants and pollutants from the HVAC system. The result is a clean, healthy and disinfected vehicle in as little as 15 minutes. The product contains no harsh chemicals, sticky residue, or dangerous volatile organic compounds, resulting in a clean and disinfected vehicle with no chemical smell.
Like Hertz, NuVinAIr also provides a certified sticker on the driver’s side window that indicates that the vehicle has gone through NuVinAir’s patented Cyclone process, and that the interior of the vehicle has been restored to pinnacle freshness.