Start a Car Hire Business

Car hire businesses hire cars to people from a few hours to days at a time. Here is how to get started with your own car hire business.

The industry
When thinking car hire you probably thinking about the “big three” (Europcar, Avis, Hertz) you usually see at airports that hire cars to tourists. But there is a large market outside of this that includes opportunities for small business owners.

General cars or exotic?
General cars are day to day car hire at an affordable rate. Exotic is classic and exotic cars for special events (Matric balls, weddings, film shoots etc.). General cars get a smaller fee per day than exotic rental but are rented out more often. Exotic cars are rented out less often but demand a higher fee (sometimes up to ten times the fee of a general car).

What kind of cars?
If you doing general cars you should opt for reliable cars that are cheap to maintain, there is also a super affordable market which rents out “cheapies” such as Citi Golf’s and Beetles. This will cost cheaper than say a Polo. For exotic hiring, go for either old classics or modern exotics, you can also specialise in sports cars.

Thais is a business with a bit of risk, and you have to take various steps to minimize risk. Tracking devices in all cars and insurance is mandatory. Make copy of ID and drivers license of all clients, take a deposit. Inspect cars after each drive, before returning deposit. And stick to a strict maintenance as car unavailability will cost you dearly. Keep car cosmetically clean as well.

You have to decide your pricing strategy. One of that is a fixed fee, which includes a set amount of kilometers, once people go above those kilometers they are charged extra per km. Exotic cars should be rented by the hour.

How many cars do you need?
For this to be a sustainable business you will need at least five general cars, this does not mean you cannot start with one and grow, you can but then it will have to be as a sideline as it won’t be enough to cover your cost of living in a city. For exotic car rental one car is fine but remember an exotic car can cost as more than five general cars.

Target market and marketing
Your niche (general or exotic) will determine your target market which will determine your marketing strategy. If you are doing general cars, make guesthouses and backpackers aware of your business (hand out flyers and business cards). If you in the exotic car hire business then make sure your cars are listed with wedding planners and movie rental providers as well as regularly advertising your service.

Car hire is a business that can be grown by simply adding more cars but it does have its challenges.

Business Model Hiring
See Also Start an Exotic Car Rental Company
Industry Car rental, Automotive