Android-based vehicle diagnostic and tracking systems

(Source:http://drmusayeva.com/consider-these-things-before-renting-a-car/)

With GPS being widely available on smartphones, the tech industry has made advancements in real-time android-based vehicle diagnostics. Tracking the status of a vehicle is just as important as tracking its location and this can be vital for fleet owners. Using these kind of tracking systems can help greatly in maintaining your fleet and running a healthy profitable business.
The versatility of using these new devices is that the data will be sent to your smartphone via Bluetooth or WiFi. This is done by attaching the sensor device to the OBD II port (on-board diagnostic port) of the vehicle, this captures the vehicle’s data and sends it to your android/iOS phone. The device is capable of capturing data on vehicle status i.e. check-engine light, fuel consumption, collision detection, it may also be able to alert emergency services.
GPS is very useful but it can only detect vehicle location and speed, these other sensors can detect other data and transmit it to your handheld android device via the GPS or send it to a cloud that can be accessed via a gateway from anywhere. Using these android-based diagnostic and tracking systems will help reduce the number of accidents and breakdown of vehicles due to poor maintenance. With regular updates sent straight to your smartphone, you won’t miss anything.
There are many connected car devices on the market, all offering different features. It is important to choose something that best fits your fleet or personal vehicle. This depends on what your preferences are, how you manage the fleet, or what your driving pattern and usual destinations are. These devices all come with specifically designed apps and additional equipment/ features, within a varied price range.
Wireless tracking and diagnostic systems are a crucial need in the auto industry today and are changing the way we view road safety and vehicle maintenance.

7 Tips for saving money on car rentals

(Source:https://www.adsonwheels.com.au/tips-to-save-money-on-your-car/)

Using a rental car when traveling is always a better option than resorting to public transport. You can travel leisurely, stop whenever you want, and get to your destination more conveniently. That been said it is important to know that rentals can be quite pricey. Navotar is here to tell you that there are ways to get around that.

Here are 7 car rental hacks you need to know of!

  1. Compare car rental prices

Comparing rental companies will help you get an idea of different price points and offers available. Doing this early on will help you decide on which rental car company suits your needs best.

The best way to do this is to go on to sites like Kayak and Skyscanner, they can list out all rental services available for your destination. These sites will offer you a list of rental companies for any price point, and also offer seasonal discounts.

  1. GPS

Many car rental companies will try to sell you their GPS facility and in the spur of the moment, you might just say yes. This means that you will be paying an extra fee for the service, buying your own GPS can help save money. Better yet, use the GPS app on your smartphone.

  1. What is included in the rental fee?

Before finalizing the reservation, look at the components of the rental fees. Things like tax and hidden charges can add up fast leading to a higher total amount than you expected. Familiarize yourself with the rental agreement and company policies before making the payment.

Most companies have a charge for filling up the tank once you return it as they would assume you would drop off the rental with an empty tank. You can save a lot by opting to fill up the tank before returning the car.

  1. Do you need rental insurance?

Another additional service a rental agency may offer is their car rental insurance. It is easy to agree to add the charge to your final bill because safety first right? But, why spend extra money on something you may already have?

Chances are your own car insurance may cover for damages to a rental, your credit card may also offer this additional feature. Be sure to check with your insurance and credit card providers on this before making a reservation.

  1. The pick-up and drop-off

Rental companies may have many facilities in one area for the convenience of customers as they can pick-up and drop-off the rental easily, but for an extra charge.

If you return the rental at a drop off location different to the pick-up location the rental company may charge you extra and this charge can be quite high. Avoid this by returning the rental to the original location if possible, you can save up on some cash.

  1. Avoid airport rentals

As convenient as it is to pick up a rental at the airport you have to pay a considerable amount for money for this luxury. Most rental agencies available at the airport are of very reputed international companies, so they are sure to be on the expensive side.

If you want to save money the best way is to make an early reservation from a local car rental company, they may be cheaper but that does not mean their service is poor.

  1. Discounts and offers

Keep track of seasonal discounts and offers provided by your bank or credit card provider. Car rental agencies may also offer discounts, especially around Christmas and New Year. Also, check for loyalty rewards, if you have been using the services of one car rental company frequently they may have a loyalty rewards system which may offer discounts.

  1. Look for damages

Everyone is in a rush to drive off in their rental, however, if the car has any pre-existing damages you may be charged for it. So, it is important to take the time to look at the car carefully and record any damages you see by snapping a photo. Since photos taken on smartphones come with a date stamp you can use it as valid proof.

These tips will surely help you reserve a rental car the smart way! Are you ready to make that reservation?
Drive safe from Navotar.

Can the auto industry recover from the covid-19 pandemic

 

(Source:https://smartyads.com/blog/what-does-white-label-mean-in-business/)

The Coronavirus outbreak has affected the world socially, politically, and economically. This has lead to many industries taking a fall within the first few months of this year, from retail to finance industries, everything has been put on hold. But what is the impact on the auto industry?

It was shown that auto sales in China fell by 80% in March, where the COVID-19 pandemic originated from. The U.S. was also affected by factory shut-downs as well as temporary or indefinite halting of rental and taxi services as they mainly depend on airport reservations/ pickups which have reduced due to certain countries shutting down their airports.

However, there is a certain way in which the auto industry is still active i.e. customers opting for rentals over public transport. Therefore there is a demand for rentals in certain parts of the world which means that one part of the auto industry can still survive. However, car manufacturers will be largely affected as there will now be a large flow of rental cars entering the used car market which means most people will opt for them over brand new cars.

Car manufacturers may still have hope if they use good marketing tactics to encourage customers to purchase their vehicles. Automakers in the U.S., such as Ford and Chrysler have introduced such incentives by reducing the purchase rate for new cars and offering 0% finance rates to customers during this time.

Many rental companies are even taking initiative to assure customers’ health safety like the German company Starcar which promises clients that the rental is disinfected after each ride. Other companies like Europcar are opting to promote their home delivery services (the rental is delivered to the customer’s home and collected after the renting period). Therefore, many solutions exist in which rental companies can contribute and still bring in revenue during a time like this.

As of April, it has been shown that auto retail sales in the U.S. are starting to recover since their decline in March. This may only keep improving but at a slow rate as in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic, it will take a while for people to go back to their normal lives. Health and safety would still be a priority therefore auto manufacturers and car rental businesses will have to keep operating with caution.

How do you insure a fleet of cars?

 

Do rental car fleets require insurance? Yes, like any other business car rentals require to be insured. Maintaining a fleet can be complicated, make it less complicated by insuring your fleet!

There are many insurance companies specifically catering to rental businesses, but that does not mean every insurance company fits your business model. You need to choose an insurance provider that has policies that align with your business and will benefit you the best.

Types of Insurance

  • There are two types of insurance policies to choose from;
  • Third-party insurance covers costs for any damages in the event of an accident caused by one of your vehicles. This means that any damages to your vehicle will not be covered.
  • Comprehensive insurance covers any costs required to fix damages to your car in the event of an accident.
  • You can also obtain a policy covering any driver, which means you can ensure customer safety as any person who drives a car from your fleet will be secured.

Things to consider before obtaining Fleet Insurance

  • Insurance companies require a list of the vehicles that need insurance in your fleet as insurance price depends on the size of the fleet. Therefore you will have to submit a list of at least the minimum number of vehicles in your fleet along with the age limits.
  • Since you now have an insurance list contact as many insurance providers as possible and find out which policies fit you the best. Consider starting with a local insurance provider before moving on to online-based insurance companies. Compile all pricings and policies into a spreadsheet to better compare prices and choose what fits your business best.
  • Since each car rental business may operate differently, it may be best if you consider opting for a customized car rental insurance policy. This is important in the case of different vehicle types intended for different purposes, the insurance policies required by two types of cars may be different i.e. recreational vehicles vs vehicles for city and highway driving.

Typical components included in fleet insurance policies

  • Liability coverage
  • Bodily injury and property damage of a third party involving your rental car. Other policies included are:
  • Injury Protection (PIP)
  • Motorist Coverage (UM)
  • Motorist Coverage (UMI)
  • Comprehensive and Collision insurance
  • Coverage included repairs or replacement of damaged vehicle due to accident with another vehicle or stationary object.
  • Covers for damages made to your vehicle by fire, theft, and, vandalism.

Where can you look for fleet insurance providers?

The top spot would be ARRC (Auto Rental Resource Center), members are given access to a variety of fleet insurance vendors. They also provide access to fleet management software, one of the recommended companies is Navotar that is a specialist in fleet management software and car rental business website development.

Using quote comparison sites can also help in looking for the best fleet insurance provider that fits your business model.

There are many fleet insurance providers, here are a few you may want to consider for your business.

  1. Erie

Erie offers excellent in-person and over the phone customer service and provides no-cost bonus features, optional add-ons and risk control. However, they are only available in 12 states.

They offer non-owner coverage, lifetime repairs guarantee, and roadside assistance is offered free of charge. They follow a monthly payment plan.

  1. Allstate

Allstate offers customizable coverage and speedy claims, this helps you keep your employees and assets protected. They provide services in all 50 states and follow a monthly 12-month payment plan – Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, including Washington, DC.

They offer a 10% bundling discount, safety device discount as well as an economy car discount up to 10%. Allstate offers rideshare coverage, non-owner coverage, lifetime repairs guarantee, whilst roadside assistance is optional.

  1. Progressive

Progressive offers customers with specialized coverage and industry-specific options. They are available in all 50 states. It may not be the cheapest fleet insurance provider, however, its customizable coverage plans may help you save money and get exactly what your business needs.

They offer non-owner coverage, lifetime repairs guarantee, with roadside assistance being optional.They may offer one of the best fleet insurance coverage in the country, however, their customer service may not be the best.What do you think about Fleet Insurance, is it worthwhile to spend on insuring your fleet?

We believe if your fleet is insured that your business will be secured, to find out more information visit:  https://arrc.net/commercial-fleet-insurance/

Navotar would like to wish you good luck with your rental business ventures!

 

 

Car Maintenance Tips

 

Much like ourselves, vehicles require routine maintenance to keep them running in proper order. Following a routine preventive maintenance schedule will help maximize the life and performance of your vehicle. It can also prevent any sudden breakdowns which can be very costly to fix, making it a cost-effective solution in the long run.

Regular maintenance and upkeep of vehicles can seem complicated to first-time car users as well as freshly starting car rental owners. However, you don’t need to have the knowledge level of a seasoned mechanic to ensure your vehicles are in good functional shape. You just need a basic level of awareness of what a vehicle needs and stick to a well-organized maintenance schedule that ticks all the boxes.

So, what needs to be done to make sure your vehicles are maintained properly? Keep reading to find out.

  1. Owner’s Manual

This is one of the most important items you will receive with the vehicle, but will usually be stacked away in the glove compartment never to be read.

This should be treated as your car bible, it contains everything you will need to know about your vehicle, and will usually include a maintenance schedule section. This will show you maintenance info on oil change, belts and hoses, tire rotation and many more.

  1. Routine oil and filter change

Know that oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine, it acts as a lubricant preventing engine parts from grinding on each other and causing damage to the engine. If motor oil is not changed regularly, accumulated contaminants will cause added friction damaging the engine.

Note: Make sure that the oil used meets the requirements stated in the user’s manual.

  1. Other fluids

Oil levels and changes aren’t the only things you need to worry about. Other fluids need a routine inspection as well, namely, transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant and washer fluids.

You can check the transmission fluid using a dipstick, whilst the others will require you to visually inspect levels. It is especially important to check these levels before a long drive, for example before a road trip.

Bonus tip: DO NOT remove the radiator cap to inspect coolant levels, instead check that level from the transparent refill container.

  1. Tires

Well maintained tires are imperative for a safe, fuel-efficient drive, you can make sure that the pressure is fine by visually inspecting your tires before each journey. You should check your tire pressure every month and before long trips or when you have to carry any extra load.

You can check your tire pressure using a tire gauge if you need to get an accurate reading. The owner’s manual will tell you how much air pressure the tires need.  Always have a spare tire in case of emergencies. Also, it is important to note that tire pressure decreases in colder climates.

The tread depth of the tire is equally important, it helps maintain friction and prevents any skidding accidents. You can use the penny method to check the tread depth, place the penny in a way Lincoln’s head points down through a tread groove. If his head disappears then the tread depth is good if the head can be seen it means it is time to replace the tires.

  1. Air Filter

The air filter in the engine regulates airflow and helps keep out engine harming debris. A well functioning air filter ensures fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and increased life of the engine. You can easily check the air filter at home by following the instructions given in the manual.

  1. Lights

The vehicle has many lights that play an important role while driving, however, this is easily overlooked. Check to see if your headlights, turn signals, brake, and parking lights are in proper working order every month.

  1. Semi-annual waxing

Waxing every six months will not only keep your vehicle looking shiny but also help maintain the paint and prevent rusting. The wax forms a protective seal over the paint prolonging the paint’s life and saving you an expensive paint job.

  1. Battery

The battery is one of the most important components of the vehicle and will require regular battery tests to ensure it is in top shape.

These tips apply to single-car owners or multiple car owners – especially owners of rental fleets. Keeping your vehicles in tip-top shape is important for many reasons but mostly for safety and to save from unwanted expenditure due to sudden breakdowns due to lack of vehicle maintenance and care.

To help you with your automotive maintenance needs we have included a downloadable car maintenance chart. Your vehicle/s will be in top working condition if you follow our schedule.

Download FREE Car Maintenance Chart here.

Chevrolet Cruze – Click Here

Kia Rio – Click Here

Nissan – Click Here

Navotar will like to wish all our readers a safe drive!