Over the past two decades or so, the rise in computer usage, allied to the continuing convenience of the Internet, has led to major changes in the way we purchase goods and services. The advent of the Digital Age has had major effects on many aspects of our lives, but perhaps the most dramatic of all have been in regard to how we, as consumers, buy.
Only a few short years ago, hiring a car was often something of a hit and miss affair. In most cases, the renter would have to ring round a few providers to try and find the lowest price, and even then there was no guarantee that he or she would end up with the vehicle they wanted at the location of their choice.
The comparison website is, for consumers at least, a wonder of the modern world. There has never been an easier or more convenient way to find the lowest possible prices, and it can all be done in a matter of minutes. Although such sites can be used to find bargains in a number of sectors, they seem almost tailor-made for the car hire industry.
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For frugal individuals, there’s nothing more frustrating than finding a bargain on something than finding the same thing was actually available cheaper with another provider. By comparing prices in advance with a vast number of companies, the consumer can hire a car knowing a great deal has already been discovered.
It seems somehow inconceivable that some renters will still book with the same company they have always used, without even checking whether they can find a similar deal for less money elsewhere. These same motorists will often drive past filling stations because they know fuel is a little cheaper at the next one, so why would they be so loyal to one particular provider?
The development of the comparison website has given our modern society a chance that has never existed in the past. These sites are the equivalent of a market-place in which every single stall displays clear, accurate prices that can be checked in seconds. It seems a shame for any consumer to waste such an opportunity.
And in the past few years it’s become just as easy to check prices on a mobile phone. The development of cellphone apps means we can access this vital information even when we’re on the move. The car hire industry is already an extremely competitive one, and it looks as though it will become even more so in the coming years.
David Showell is a UK consumer who works for CompareCarHire.