The key to opening your own car rental business

December 1, 2014

Car rentals can be a very profitable business. Let's take a look everything you need to take into account before starting your car rental business.

The key to opening your own car rental business

Car rentals can be a very profitable business if done well. There's always demand for car hires, but there's lots of competition out there, too. Let's take a look at everything you need to take into account before starting your car rental business.

Deciding what type of rental service

There are two main types of car rental services. Car hire services for special occasions rent higher-end cars like limousines and luxury vehicles for special occasions like proms, weddings, stag parties and any other occasions that require a touch of class for a single day. In this case, it's likely necessary to also hire drivers. And the kinds of cars needed for your fleet are going to be pricier, as you'll want to provide limousines, luxury SUVs, Hummers and other such vehicles.

Longer-term car hire services rent vehicles to people who need them for road trips, while on vacation, or while their car is being repaired. In this case, the initial costs might be a bit lower as you're not necessarily acquiring all luxury vehicles, and drivers aren't necessary. But you also might need to have a bigger fleet, and the return on any individual rental is likely going to be lower versus the time rented.

Maintenance, insurance and security

Once you've acquired your fleet and started your business, it's very important to have a solid plan for maintaining and insuring your vehicles. Maintenance is important to keep your fleet running, but also to keep customers happy. Insurance is a huge issue, as your cars are being used by strangers, and all kinds of unexpected circumstances could put you in a tough situation. So be sure to do your homework. It's also critical that you store your vehicles in a safe place. You'll need a parking lot, and security measures to keep your cars secure. A security guard or security service may be necessary, and an alarm system or other such safeguards is a good idea, too.

Never underestimate a novel idea

Aside from the traditional tried and tested car rental business model, there are some incredible new ideas out there that use digital technologies to disrupt old markets. For instance, some businesses offer the chance to rent idle cars in airport parking lots while their owners are away. This allows the person who owns the car to get free parking and even make a bit of money, the car renter gets a better rate, and the intermediary business takes a cut. It's an innovative model that doesn't even require owning any cars. So be sure to brainstorm simple ways you can do things differently. Anything is possible!

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