Bucking the traditional dealership model, Toyota Motor North America is re-launching a consumer-direct vehicle rental program for its dealers powered by Dealerware. Known simply as Rent a Toyota, the revamped rental program software was piloted over several months by dealers with incredible success and is now available for the complete Toyota network. 

With the new software, participating Toyota dealers can complete “mobile-first, one-minute rental contracting”. It provides reports and analytics, dealer support, and automated cost recovery to make renting cars a profit center rather than a cumbersome burden. 

It’s a welcome change to Rent a Toyota that first started in 1988. Initially designed for a temporary transportation option for service customers, collision repair loaners paid by insurance providers, or extended test drives, the revamp with Dealerware makes it more user-friendly to attract a wider range of smartphone-carrying clientele.  

A customer-centric mobility option 

Shared mobility was experiencing a sharp growth rate pre-pandemic but the fear of getting sick from touch points decimated the industry in Q2 2020 until now. The EY Mobility Consumer Index reports that 78% of survey respondents declare they will be more likely to use cars for travel post-pandemic, and Millennial consumers make up over half.

A new vehicle rental offers an exciting, efficient and hassle-free option for those who want to test drive car ownership without commitment. And for those who can’t justify owning a car but require one occasionally, Rent a Toyota offers an option that’s price comparable to other rental agencies but with the consumer-centric service the dealership provides. 

Dealer-focused software 

At the heart of the program is Dealerware, launched in 2016 to provide dealer-first solutions. During the pilot program, their developers identified friction points in the Rent a Toyota process and sought to smooth out the rough edges. Participating dealers saw cost recovery increases of 114% as well as fleet utilization rates exceeding 85%. 

Paul Rohovsky is Toyota Motor North America’s Dealer Fleet Manager. He said, “We sought to find software partners who could help improve the dealer and customer experience, while preparing our network for future mobility offerings, and Dealerware can clearly deliver on these metrics. As an approved provider, Dealerware’s platform will help our dealers better manage their rental fleet, recoup costs and provide a better customer experience.”

Dealerware’s President and COO, Russell Lemmer, said, “We launched Dealerware in 2016 with two clear goals – reduce the costs dealers incur from fleet operations and modernize consumers’ dealership experiences. We are excited to be able to deliver that to Toyota dealersAs consumer demands evolve and the need for flexibility and accessibility are at an all-time high, we’re thrilled to provide Toyota with a fully connected, best-in-class solution for rental at the dealership.”

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