Protect your Rental Car Fleet from Tire Theft

Christian Stadlmann

Christian Stadlmann

CRO at Anyline

Aug 24, 2023

All industries face fraud and theft risks. The rental care industry is no different. It is common to find the wrong tires on a rented vehicle. How does that happen? 

With secure rental lots, it may seem like this is not a problem. Yet, an opportunistic person may realize that it is easy enough to switch out their used, worn tires with those on the vehicle they rent from you. What’s more, your associates may not catch on. There are other organizations that do this on a large scale, stealing like-new tires and putting rental clients at risk. Tires are already one of the most expensive components of running a car rental business. With theft, these costs get even higher. 

However, there are strategies you can use to minimize theft, and it all comes down to collecting the right data. 

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Correlating VIN and DOT Data 

Some fraudsters are very tricky and may even replace their worn tire with the same model and brand that is on the rented vehicle, making a visual inspection highly inaccurate. However, the Department of Transportation requires that tire manufacturers print a DOT code on every tire. This allows for every tire to have a very specific number that correlates with the plant and location of its manufacturer, size, brand, and date of production. These digits are indecipherable by consumers, but the data is easily transferred. 

Consider the date that’s easy to pick up on in the DOT. The last four digits are the week and year the tire was made. For example, if a tire was produced on January 30, 2023, the last four digits would be 04 23. 

It would be very difficult for a fraudster to find a tire that has the exact same data on the tire they are trying to swap out, creating a simple way to verify if that tire is, in fact, the same one.