THE BACKGROUND: ROLZO is a booking platform for all types of car travel - car rental, chauffeur drive (by the journey, hour, or day), plus airport transfers and special deliveries. It was launched in 2018 and now covers 300 cities and 500 airports in more than 60 countries. In October 2020 the firm launched ROLZO Business. Aimed at the corporate market, ROLZO Business provides various services, including instant quotation and booking confirmation, secure payment, real-time invoicing, smart reporting and analytics, all designed to help companies manage their car travel needs.
COVID STRATEGY: All cars, whether chauffeur drive or rental cars, are completely cleaned with the Purespace disinfection system before and after each journey. Chauffeurs wear facemasks and gloves at all times and are checked for signs of Covid-19 twice a day. Passengers are also provided with hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes, masks, and gloves. Instead of being greeted by a handshake, passengers are greeted with a slight bow.
BOOKING: The booking took just a few minutes. I was given the choice of booking a one-way chauffeured journey, a chauffeur by the hour, or booking a car rental. I chose the first option, typed in my pick-up address and destination, and then scrolled through the calendar and time options (slots every 15 minutes) to select the pick-up time. I was then presented with a number of vehicle types with the prices, each one showing how many passengers and bags could be carried. Vehicles for my trip (from my home in Sussex to the Hyatt Regency London The Churchill) included three different types of Mercedes. I selected a Mercedes-Benz S Class for £145. The distance and estimated time of my journey were also displayed. I then typed in the passenger information, number of bags, and any special requests. After seeing a one-page confirmation of my booking information, I entered my card details for payment. It was a simple and speedy process. When I booked my return journey, my card details had been saved so it was even quicker. After each booking I immediately received confirmation emails and another email offering any further assistance, including a link to 10 short video tutorials showing me how to carry out various actions, such as modifying my booking. Reading the booking conditions, I saw that ROLZO offers a 100% refund for cancellations more than 12 hours previously for bookings by the hour, while one-way bookings are fully refunded if they are cancelled more than four hours before the booking starts.
PRE-JOURNEY: In the days leading up to my journey, I received a number of email updates, including one telling me ‘your booking is starting in 24 hours’ and, later that same day, one confirming the name and telephone number of my driver. My pick-up was booked for 3pm and at 12.30pm I received an email telling me my driver was en route and confirming my address. It all helped me feel confident that my chauffeur was on his way. At 2.44pm I received another email telling me my driver had arrived.
PICK-UP: I was ready a few minutes before my pick-up time but apparently there is a 15-minute complimentary waiting time, which is useful if you’re running late. This extends to 60 minutes for airport pick-ups. After that, you pay by the hour. When I opened my front door, my driver, Dimitri, was standing by the car smartly dressed in a dark suit and with a black Covid mask and black gloves. The Mercedes was gleaming. Dimitri took my luggage and opened the door and told me where I could find a mask and gloves in the central armrest. I masked up before he got back in the car.
JOURNEY: The drive took 1hr 46 minutes, during which time I relaxed and enjoyed the generous legroom and comfortable headrest. I even nodded off at some point. The drive was very smooth and Dimitri kept within the speed limit the entire time. Any chat we had was instigated by me and he made no personal calls (my pet hate in previous airport taxi pick-ups after a long flight). At my request, he turned down the car temperature and put on the digital radio, letting me choose the station (Magic Soul). As well as the Covid gloves and mask, the car had bottled water, mints, a packet of tissues, and antiseptic wipes, all within my reach.
VERDICT: This was a slick operation from start to finish. The booking process was straightforward and intuitive and the pre-trip communication was just right – not too much but also enough to reassure me that everything was in hand. I also felt safe in regards to Covid thanks to all the new measures in place. Everything went smoothly for me, but it was good to see - on my booking confirmation email - that there’s a 24-7 support team, which can be reached by online chat, email or via three telephone numbers (London, Miami and Dubai). On the day of my pick-up I called the UK number (just for the sake of this reality check) and it was answered immediately.
Reviewed by Beverley Fearis (2020)