Hertz is placing itself in direct competition with automated car-rental services like Zipcar this summer, a move that could have an impact on parking lots of home centers.
According to Bloomberg, Hertz is partnering with Lowe's and Walgreens (among others) in order to expand its presence via kiosks in place of having to buy additional property.
Tnooz reports that customers will soon have 24/7 access to Hertz rental cars, which will be stationed in Lowe's parking lots later this summer. Those who sign up for memberships will be able to unlock vehicles with their electronically coded cards without ever having to visit a rental car office. Gold status members of Hertz's loyalty program will be able to enjoy 24/7 rentals out of Lowe's parking lots by the end of the year.
According to Bloomberg, Hertz initially considered buying the startup but has been competing with Zipcar since 2008. Today, Hertz has a 35,000-vehicle fleet in 1,800 neighborhood locations equipped for hourly rentals.
“It’s kind of a win-win situation,” CEO Mark Frissora told the news source. “The retailer is able to monetize their parking lot. It’s almost a no-brainer. It’s part of our asset-light strategy, investing in technology and making the car, if you will, the bricks and mortar.”
According to Tnooz, Hertz's hourly rentals don't require a membership fee, which would place Hertz at a competitive advantage to Zipcar.
Lowe's did not respond to requests for comment on the program.