Slowely but surely ‘it’ is coming- and New Zealand won’t be far off I bet. From fingerprint identification that is. Your thumb -or any finger on your two lovely hands for that matter- will be your most precious asset when renting a car or campervan in the near future.
Yup, it looks like we have finally arrived in the era where your authorising signature -and with that your word-is not sufficient anymore. The dawn of a new age where a photocopy of your identification doesn’t do it anymore like it use to in the ’80’s and ’90’s is upon us. And what about the good old creditcard? Nope, you will be needing ‘the goods’: Your passport or driverslicense, you prettiest signature and your fingerprint in order to secure a rental vehicle in -for now- The Netherlands and England.
As it turns out, these overseas rental companies suffer substantual losses of around the €350.000 anually. Why? Because people apparently feel the need to thrash the rental car they are using or simply steal it to be never seen or heard of again. And despite the fact the offenders sign a rental agreement and have their passport or drivers license copied- they are untraceable when it counts. Particularly when they are overseas visitors. In England this annual ‘damage’ figure is, thanks to the introduction of the fingerprint identification system, slowely reducing. However, this number is still persistently on the rise in the Netherlands. And so ever since October this year, Schiphol Airport has joined the fingerprint identification-team as well. No thumb-no car in the Low Lands and the country of the famous stiff upper lip.
Will this fingerprint identification march for New Zealand?-perhaps. After all, rental cars get thrashed here as well-or conveniently pinched if that suits the ‘program’ of the traveller better. And that’s a shame. Because this globally spread human behaviour is truly an embarrassment and a quite unnecessary one at that. And with the current global economy an investment like this will be the last thing rental companies are waiting for. Especially since the tourism industry is already noticing a decline in tourists visiting the country.
So come on you rental car users, play nice, play fair-don’t thrash (or steal) your rental.