Hyundai Canada becomes first automaker to offer vehicle rentals to consumers
by Will Mazgay, Editor
The pilot project will begin in early March at select Ontario dealerships
Hyundai Canada is introducing Hyundai for Hire, an industry-first pilot project that will offer short-term vehicle rentals to customers directly through select dealerships.
Don Romano, president and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp., spoke with Canadian Manufacturing about the initiative at the Canadian International AutoShow.
Romano explained that consumers will be able to rent cars for however long they wish, “for a week, a couple of days, a month,” and said they can expect to pay a lot less than they would at a traditional car rental firm. “We don’t have that overhead. We make the cars.”
According to Romano, the service is ideal for consumers who don’t want to commit to a lease or finance purchase, indecisive prospective buyers, university students, condo dwellers and newcomers to Canada who might not have credit yet.
The automaker says anyone who uses the service is eligible for its loyalty discount towards the purchase of a new vehicle, which in most cases will cover the rental fee.
“We’re just bringing new people in to get to know the Hyundai family and portfolio and it just gives them an option,” said Romano.
Romano said Hyundai went with the rental model over a subscription model, in which consumers pay monthly or yearly to have access to a number of different cars, for a few different reasons. “With subscription, you are depreciating a number of different cars.” He said it can also be a pain to switch cars once you’ve become comfortable with what you are driving. In addition, “The cost is high, the challenges with the customer are high.”
Insurance is provided through Aviva, and financing and billing are done through Scotia Bank, with Scotia paying the dealers for the rental cost.
The cost of each rental will be inclusive of insurance and maintenance – the driver only needs to add gas. “We wanted the experience to be ‘here’s the keys, here’s the contract, we’ll see you when you come back,'” Romano said.
The pilot project will begin in early March at select Ontario dealerships. Additional details about the program including booking information, pricing and product availability will become available at that time.