Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, and Avis have increased precautions around disinfection.

By Cailey Rizzo
May 18, 2020
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As several states begin the first phases of their reopening plans, car rental companies around the country are implementing new safety procedures.

Travelers who opt for car rentals at this time — perhaps for a long road trip — will find new procedures for reserving a car and increased precautions around disinfection.

Hertz unveiled a new 15-step “Gold Standard Clean” procedure in its rental cars where vehicles will be marked with a “gold standard” seal across their doors, indicating they've been cleaned. The procedure includes several disinfections, vacuuming, vehicle inspection, and washes.

Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty

"Sealing each vehicle is a first-of-its-kind practice in the car rental industry and one we believe will give customers added peace of mind knowing they are the only person to enter the vehicle after it's been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized," Hertz President and CEO Kathryn Marinello said in a statement.

Enterprise has unveiled a “Complete Clean Pledge,” that will “implement new and more comprehensive mandates that include enhanced cleaning guidance.” Reservations should be made over the phone or online, as only select Enterprise locations are operating during the coronavirus pandemic.

Their cleaning procedures include disinfecting over 20 frequently touched areas of a car. Their shuttle service will also be operating at limited capacity and the number of employees will also be less.

Both Budget and Avis have also introduced similar procedures, focusing on disinfecting high touch-point areas in rental cars.

If you use a car-share service like Zipcar, cleaning procedures are slightly different as not every car is cleaned between bookings. The service recommends that Zipcar users bring their own disinfecting wipes to wipe down cars before driving. If a Zipcar user is confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, the vehicle they used will be isolated and thoroughly disinfected.

Across all car major rental companies, customers will find more flexible change and cancellation policies.

If you’re looking for a bit of an upgrade from the typical car rental, you can also check out the best RV rental companies for a summer road trip.