15 August, 2018

Sixt plans app to bypass traditional counter services

Vehicle rental firm Sixt is rolling out a new app which allows consumers to book and collect vehicles without visiting the brand’s counters.

The move brings vehicle hire further into the digital age, and the company hopes by adding such a service, it will attract new customers who associate more with app-based retail. Vinzenz Pflanz, Senior Vice President of Group Sales at Sixt, said: ’Users benefit from significant time savings, from a very high level of planning and last but not least from the highest level of comfort.’

The digital self-service offer is currently reserved for selected corporate customers and frequent users of Sixt’s services, as it trials the option. Drivers looking to collect a vehicle remotely will be able to do so at the airports in Munich, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin-Tegel and Berlin-Schoenefeld during this time.

With the new service, Sixt is taking the final step towards the seamless digitisation of the rental process. ’We are the innovation leader in car rental. The new service, with which we now place the counter in the Sixt app, underlines this once again, ‘says Nico Gabriel, CEO of the SixtX division, in which the company bundles its New Mobility activities.

The new service will not just benefit consumers but will help the car hire firm to gain experience in how a completely digital rental process works. Therefore, the company will not change much on the existing infrastructure. Those who still want to pick up their paperwork and keys physically will be able to from counters, while those looking for a quick and easy experience can go digital.

The company does believe that the digital platform is the future, with Pflanz saying: ‘Who would not be glad if waiting time is taken away?’

The app is being launched at a time when the company is performing well financially. In Q2 2018, Sixt had consolidated earnings before taxes (EBT) of around €82 million, compared to €65.8 million during the same period last year. Consolidated operating revenue is expected to be around €641 million, compared to €573.6 million in 2017.

Sixt is also expected to launch a new car-sharing scheme shortly. The company sold its stake in BMW’s DriveNow earlier in 2018, allowing the manufacturer to merge its operation with Daimler’s car2go. Reports have suggested that the car rental firm will use the money from the sale to start its own scheme to ensure it remains relevant at a time when vehicle ownership patterns are changing.