“Keyless” car rental management: Practical tips to get started!

Practical tips to get started!

Only 6% of German companies work fully digitized, i.e. many processes are still based on analog methods. In many companies, a level of digitization of up to 80-85% is achievable in the long term. 1 At the same time, interest in "keyless" leasing continues to grow, as the advantages are obvious.  

Two worlds often still collide today. On the one hand, the classic, station-based processes of car rental, and on the other, the advancing digitization of mobility. Sure, many of the "tried and true" processes work, but are they still efficient? Just because something works doesn't mean it can't be improved.


 "Keyless" car rental closely linked to fleet management

What does "keyless" for car rental really mean?

The term "keyless car rental" is primarily understood as the elimination of "physical" keys and the adoption of digital processes.

The "keyless" feature is also often used as a synonym for digitalization and as a symbol for managing processes more.


The advantages: Keyless mode in car rental management 


Depending on the company and the design of the mobility offering, different benefits can be achieved with the introduction of digital processes. The advantages of "keyless" rental management are numerous, as digitization can have a positive impact on the following aspects:

  • Cost reduction – e.g. reduction of physical locations or staff to handle the process.
  • Increased efficiency - Customer self-service and better management of the fleet.
  • Sustainability - more people using flexible mobility like carsharing can reduce the overall amount of cars produced or used.
  • Time saving - As neither the customer nor the employee has to be present for check-in or check-out, a lot of valuable time is saved and consequently, there is more customer satisfaction.
  • Competitiveness – Customers are used to digital on-demand services, to provide such is a competitive advantage.

New mobility requires new approach.

The introduction and implementation of the "keyless" mode is a process that will benefit everyone involved if it is carried out systematically and consistently.

Companies often postpone the changeover because they are afraid of the initial investment costs. However, once the changeover is successfully completed, everyone involved will appreciate the benefits.


4 steps for a car rental agency to complement the "physical key" option


Taking for granted that all processes must be 100% digitized can be a challenge. Achieving that level of digitization overnight is an ongoing process.


In the medium term, however, it makes sense to work predominantly "keyless".


The first steps toward "keyless" car rental are achievable if you start with short- and medium-term goals.

Expectations definition

Implementing a system that gets rid of "physical keys" overnight is utopian. Switching to "keyless" working is a process that can take some time, depending on the size of the company.


Therefore, a long-term change should not be rushed, but carefully planned and thought through. Processes based on "physical keys" should be replaced step by step, so that in the long term the idea of implementing "keyless" processes becomes more of a reality.


The rule is: step by step.

2. Start small

All beginnings are difficult. As a rule, it is best to start at the source and with the individual steps of the "classical" analogue processes.


A good starting point is to begin with your trusted business partner as a pilot.


It is favourable to choose this group because any implementation of new methods and work processes can be reviewed by getting feedback on how successful the implementation is and thus make better decisions for optimization. This is how you achieve a better customer experience.


In this way, each of the "classic" analogue processes can be digitized step by step.

3. Employees Engagement

Moving from familiar processes to new ways of working can be challenging for some employees. In this case, it is important to point out the advantages of keyless transition, communicate planned changes openly and transparently, and actively involve employees in their implementation.


For employees, the "keyless" rental / leasing processes also offers personal advantages, such as more flexible working hours models and/or working from home. Open communication and initiatives for change and digital transformation are the key to streamlining the process.

4. Introduce the right software modules

For the transition to "keyless" methods to be a success, various solutions and external services must be introduced. The choice of the right software and hardware option depends on each company's vehicle management processes and also on the specific industry (rental, leasing, subscription, etc.). Whether for administration and vehicle maintenance management, vehicle delivery or handover, there are a variety of software modules that support digitization for every area of the company.


Modern Suite of applications for an efficient fleet management 


In general, a distinction is made between all-in-one solutions and individual solutions. All-in-one solutions are difficult to find, depending on the complexity of the company's internal processes. Customized solutions, on the other hand, map the individual process steps and are usually the more flexible, but also more cost-intensive variant.


KMS Mobility Solutions offers all-in-one solutions for a quick start with the rental solutions Rentoffice and the car sharing app Share2Rent. In addition, customized solutions can be designed with the KMS Platform.

KMS – keep mobility simple!



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