South Africa was closed for nearly half a year to International travel due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. From 26st March 2020 and will resume from the 1st October 2020. Finally, our president announced the dates when our borders will open again to International countries (Excluding High-Risk Countries such as the UK, US and India) from the 1st of October onwards – as long as they had a COVID-19 test within 72 hours before the flight.
How has Cape Town Car Hire ensured Safety during COVID-19?
Let’s take a closer look at the Safety Measurements implemented by the Top Player in the Cape Town Car Hire market. These Top Players include Around About Cars, Europcar, Tempest, First/SIXT Car Rental and Thrifty.
Is South Africa ready to Welcome International Tourists back into the Country?
We found out that the Top Players in the Cape Town Car Hire market have taken the necessary safety precautions during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
These Safety Measures include:
- All Car Hire Cape Town employees are wearing masks at all times and safety gear at all times to protect themselves and their clients.
- All of the Car Hire branches of the Top Players in the Car Hire market have implemented indemnity forms to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Each individual car gets sprayed with sanitizer from top to bottom before being re-used.
- All surfaces are being continuously sanitised and disinfected to prevent the spread of the virus.
AROUND ABOUT CARS
Here an extract from an interview with Geoff Higgo, the owner of Around About Cars, a Cape Town Car Hire company and the leading Southern African Car Rental Broker for over 25 years. This is Higgo’s opinion on the readiness of his Cape Town Car Hire company on the preparation to Welcome back International tourists:
We asked: Mr Higgo, Do you think South Africa is ready for International tourists?
Yes we are ready! I don’t think anyone in the world is more ready than us. It is completely safe and impossible to be infected with any virus when you rent a car in South Africa. Our main office is in the Western Cape, Cape Town and here we have had hardly any new infections. But what is more exciting is that it looks like 50% of our population already had Corona according to the latest medical studies. Research showed that the Cape seems to have reached herd immunity. That means there is no risk of a second wave and hopefully will prove to be the safest country on the planet from COVID-19. South Africa will be keeping up all safety protocols, even amid decreasing COVID-19 infections. South Africa will not be slacking off with taking the necessary safety precautions such as social distancing, wearing masks and sanitising. Even at the petrol station, you will find that the attendant wears a mask. There are hand sanitisers in most public spaces such as brick-and-mortar stores, offices, police stations and more. Everything from top to bottom is frequently sanitized, from hotel rooms, rental cars, surfaces and many other tourist attractions. You can hire your car feeling safe knowing that they have been sanitised.
Around About Cars was one of the Cape Town Car Hire companies who implemented safety measurements when COVID-19 first hit Cape Town.
Hire a Car from Around About Cars and Receive a Complimentary Mask.
It was a very tough time, particularly for the Car Rental industry. Car Hire companies especially in popular tourist cities such as Cape Town rely heavily on International tourists, but needless to say the rest of South Africa suffered too due to the late of foreign currency coming into the country.
No International visitors were allowed to enter into the country. For a couple of months Car Rentals weren’t allowed to operate at all. In that time the owners of Around About Cars adjusted their business model to provide PPE to make ends meet. Around About Cars began to sell custom-designed masks for the local businesses. We proudly participated in Nelson Mandela Day by donating high-quality triple-layer masks to our charity of choice known as Bhongolethu, a primary school that offers affordable education for the farm workers children.
We asked Steve, a senior employee at Around About Cars- the leading Cape Town Car Hire broker how he intends to keep our clients safe. Steve says:
As early as March we started using hand sanitisers in the office and we embarked on training staff on hygiene.
We encourage our staff to frequently wash hands. We wear our masks throughout the working day. When we get home they are washed. Constantly, after every client we disinfect the surface again. Our clients can keep the pen they use. If they need to use the credit card machine we instantly disinfect it again. When we take clients to their cars we keep 1.5m distance. We don’t hug our regulars anymore like in the good old days. Now it takes a bit longer to get the cars ready because every single spot in the car gets sanitized, the handbrake, the indicator, the switches….everything. We are already working successfully with South Africans and developed a routine that we will keep in place when our Internationals are back. It was a very quiet and sad winter, but we are ready and looking forward to the future of safe car rental.
EUROPCAR – TEMPEST
We also interviewed another leading Car Rental company known as Europcar and their sister company known as Tempest how they keep their clients safe. We personally went to the branches to see what they have implemented. Europcar and Tempest went above and beyond the standard safety measurements. Even behind the petitioning walls they only occupied every second desk – to even keep their own staff socially distant.
Quote from Cindy Galant, Sales Specialist:
Right from the beginning of lockdown Europcar and Tempest worked on a comprehensive – COVID-19 precaution strategy to enure that all their clients would be absolutely safe in their cars.
All safety features as listed below were implemented. Our clients and staff are of utmost importance to our business and therefore stringent measures were implemented.
We are ready for you.
Clean vehicles have always been important to us, and we know cleaning and disinfecting vehicles is even more critical during these times. Our cleaning procedures, using recommendations from health authorities and in line with International best practices, include:
- All cars are sanitised by our drivers after delivery to the branch so that no other person enters a vehicle during the period between when it is sanitised and when a customer receives it.
- All hard surfaces cleaned with approved sanitiser, specifically:
- All outside door handles
- Boot handles
- Steering wheel
- Gear lever
- All safety belt buckles and handling areas
- All vehicle controls (indicators, window controls, light switches, etc.)
- All inside door handles
- The rear-view mirror
- All other hard surfaces that are commonly touched
- After the driver has completed sanitising the vehicle, a hanger is placed on the steering wheel to evidence the process was completed. This is to enable internal quality control and to give customers peace of mind that the process was completed. These hangers have been ordered and this will be implemented as soon as these are received.
- Deliveries follow the same process.
- Our famous mints will be temporarily replaced with a hand sanitiser for the renter as soon as orders are delivered.
- Policies have been and implemented for older/vulnerable people, for example work from home if possible, to protect people most at risk.
- Isolating procedures are in place for all people displaying symptoms including for people they have been in contact with.
- Movement and interaction with staff from other locations and businesses is limited.
- Where possible, shifts are split so that teams do not come in contact with one another.
- Access to common areas such as the canteen has been restricted as far as practically possible.
- Biometric access controls have been disabled where possible and will be replaced by non-touch alternatives. Sanitising between each touch is implemented on essential systems.
- Training has been suspended or replaced by online alternatives.
- Ongoing internal testing and screening of employees is in the process of being implemented when the necessary resources are available.
- Hand washing is compulsory including the thoroughness and frequency thereof. Internal competitions are in place to ensure this remains top of mind, as well as the importance of not touching one’s face. Extensive and ongoing internal communications, including branch TV, e-mail, posters, team meetings and one-on-one interactions support this priority as well as knowledge on health essentials.
- Staff, who are unable to wash their hands as regularly, will be provided with hand sanitizer.
- Avoiding physical contact, including eliminating shaking hands, is strongly encouraged and social distancing of 1.5 metres between office bound employees is in place.
- All non-branch locations are regularly cleaned and sanitized.
If you want to book a car from Tempest or Europcar e-mail: [email protected] for Unbeatable Rates.
FIRST/SIXT CAR RENTAL
Another leading Cape Town Car Hire company that operates throughout South Africa includes First Car Rental. This Top Player took every precaution to keep their clients safe during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Here are some of the safety measures that the First Car Rental branches have Implemented:
- They supply hand sanitiser and even sanitise hand wipes.
- All touch screens are wiped down after every single car rental check-out.
- Counter surfaces are regularly wiped down.
- All staff members practice regular personal hygiene.
- Staff as well as all customers are required to wear a face mask when entering every office and every branch.
- The temperature of the staff is taken every morning; it has to be below 38° C.
- If any staff has any flu like symptoms they are sent home straight away.
- All vehicles are thoroughly cleaned for specialised disinfectant and detergents. The cars are vacuumed and vacuum filters are regularly disposed off.
- The touch points such as the steering wheel, the seatbelts, gear lever and indicators are sanitised before delivering off a vehicle to a delivery or collection point.
- All of our drivers own masks and gloves which are regularly changed and worn at all times.
If you want to book a car from First/Sixt Car rental email: [email protected] for Unbeatable Rates.
THRIFTY CAR RENTAL
Thrifty Car Rental formed their own compliance team. It has very similar procedures in place compared to other car hire companies to keep its clients safe. Virtual basic training took place to train their staff. They point out that they encourage their staff to stay at home if they are not feeling well. We checked and all their biometric systems are now COVID-19 approved. Not even fabric towels are allowed anymore.
If you want to book with any of those companies you can just contact Us via [email protected] and we will make a booking on your behalf stress-free.
As a closing word one can say that South African Car Rental companies are ready to Welcome International clients.
Written by Monika Moser of Around About Cars (Cape Town- South Africa and International Car Hire).
To Book- Phone: (0)21 422 4022| Emergency Bookings Email: [email protected] | Website: www.aroundaboutcars.com | Address: 20 Bloem Street, Cape Town, 8001.