Car hire can be a pain. Standing around the car hire kiosk for hours on end in the airport while the sales assistant tries to up sale you are a royal pain in the backside. Virtuo aims to cut out this hassle by doing it all online.
Virtuo was born out of irritation with car rental companies and renting cars with lots of secret fees, limited opening hours, offices in hard-to-reach locations and long queues for pick-ups and returns. Car rental companies have a bad reputation for poor customer service and long lists of customer protests.
Virtuo uses a mobile-only approach, with customers registering, making bookings, and gaining access to vehicles all via their mobile. Virtuo is a mobile app that enables customers to book, locate, unlock, and manage their car from their phone. You need to download the app onto your phone and register. You will get a confirmation email that you are now registered. You then choose the dates and collection for your vehicle, the level of insurance, etc.
After that, you need to upload a copy of your driver’s licence and credit card, which is all done through the app, via your phone camera and uploaded instantly. Virtuo will promptly begin with their checks and get back to you within 24 hours. Also needed is a DVLA check and you as a customer provide them with a code, up to seven days before your rental. Again, an amazingly effortless process. Email confirmations are gotten afterwards so you know you are on the right track. They also have an excellent customer service team in London that are available on the chat function 24 hours per day.
Around hours before your rental begins, you are permitted to download a ‘key’ that enables you to lock and unlock your car. You also get emails and text messages confirming your collection point and address as well as the registration of the car you are renting.
The car we rented, a Tesla Model Y, was in a car park in Canary Wharf, alongside other Teslas on the same floor. Holding the phone up to the car, (ensuring you have Bluetooth turned on) using your app, you click on unlock and your car opens. You then must fill out a fault check and make sure you report any major damage, scratches, faults etc. Make sure you do this otherwise you will be charged if the damage is there when you return the car. It must be said, the car was parked tightly in between two other cars making this difficult. As well as that, the car park was dark, so we felt a little unsafe carrying out checks there and then, so we drove off to a safer spot to do this.
The car was great and had a lot of charge on the battery. There is an arrangement that allows drivers to charge at any Tesla supercharger without extra charges. The Virtuo app constantly keeps you updated on the mileage used. On returning the vehicle at the end of your hire, you drop it off in the same parking bay (or as close to it as possible), make a note of this via the app, and end your hire via the app.
We had a couple of minor issues with the app losing connectivity / not unlocking the car during the rental but restarting the app resolved this.
The Virtuo app is more than just your hire car’s key; it will tell you how much fuel you have used, how far you have travelled, and a variety of other information. The future of car rental is here. Virtuo’s customer care team is available by chat, email, or phone to assist customers with any of their needs. Customer support representatives at Virtuo are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help you before, during, and after your rental.