Thrifty to expand vending machines

After a year-long test, Thrifty Car Rental has decided to expand its distribution system with a network of Thrifty Automated Rental Centres (tarcs).Tarcs are high-tech machines that process car rental agreements and dispense contracts and car keys to customers.Mississauga, Ont.-based Thrifty...

After a year-long test, Thrifty Car Rental has decided to expand its distribution system with a network of Thrifty Automated Rental Centres (tarcs).

Tarcs are high-tech machines that process car rental agreements and dispense contracts and car keys to customers.

Mississauga, Ont.-based Thrifty has signed an agreement with Canadian Tire that will see the machines installed in as many as 20 Canadian Tire Auto Service Centres over the next year.

To operate the machine, customers require only a valid driver’s licence and a credit card.

A direct phone line connects the machine to a local Thrifty outlet, so the customer can phone for assistance as needed.

Between five and 10 cars will be maintained in each of the Canadian Tire parking lots for users of the machines.

Car rental firms have been exploring the concept of automated rental centres for several years, but Robert Swanborough, Thrifty’s director of local marketing, says Thrifty’s Canadian operation has emerged as a leader in the area.

Swanborough says ‘no one has taken it to the extent we have.’

Thrifty, which recently hired u.s.-based CME Advertising as its North American agency, is in the process of developing an advertising campaign for tarc. PA