Car rental services have been around for a very long time. But, the need has never been so apparent as now with the world seeing more travelers. Rental services also benefit people who own cars and don’t feel like taking them out or who want to travel in fancier style.
A few decades ago, rental services had to rely on two core markets, one comprising business travelers and the other consisting of tourists. That’s no longer the case which means this is the right time to cash in on the demand.
Before setting out, there are certain important aspects to consider. How large a fleet are you thinking of and do you have the capital for it? What clientele are you looking to service? Some rentals cater mainly to hotels, others to airports, some to individuals and the rest to all. Since you’re starting out, it’s a good idea to service a small number or search for clients who don’t need a large fleet of cars.
Types of cars
There are city cars, utility vehicles and luxury automobiles to choose. The last option is undoubtedly the most expensive while the first two aren’t overly pricey. City cars are generally hired by tourists and citizens. Utility vehicles are also hired by tourists for sightseeing and also by citizens looking to take the week off. Business travelers tend to opt for luxury vehicles.
The budget you have will decide what types of vehicles to have in a fleet. It’s a good idea to have a couple of everything so clients don’t have to look far.
Type of service
You can either rent out vehicles on a contractual basis – leasing cars for a set time – or a daily basis which is short-term.
Location of operation
Your service office must be visible and located in high-traffic areas. This includes sites near hotels, airports, guest houses and tourist spots. These areas are more expensive to rent but if you do things right, the returns will more than make up for it.
You may choose to work out of home or an office but the cars need a safe place to park. If the site of your operations isn’t large, rent a guarded garage.
You’ll need to tie-up with a body shop or mechanic service to maintain the fleet. You’ll also need qualified and licensed drivers. Office employees like accountants, assistants, computer techs and a receptionist also make up the core workforce.
Since you’ll have a fleet of vehicles worth thousands of dollars, you should consider getting a security system. CCTVs and alarm systems must be installed to prevent vandalism and theft. You’ll naturally have insurance but that’s no reason to offer an easy opening for thieves.
Car rental services aren’t allowed to operate without insurance. Find out what policies are available, what are covered and additional benefits you can enjoy. Remember to purchase insurance for employees too in the event of accidents and mishaps that can cost you.
Maintain a website
Aside from the usual ads posted in the print media, use the services offered by the internet. Have a dedicated website that clients can use to make enquiries, check out your fleet, contact customer support and make payments. It will also advertise your name globally without requiring you to spend a fortune.