How To Start A Car Rental Business
Learning how to start a car rental business could be a profitable venture if you live in
an area that has a high demand. The primary operation would involve scheduling
customer reservations and supplying rental cars. In addition, a car rental business would
need to check driver history and process payments.
Additional insurance coverage should be offered, and vehicles will need to be cleaned
and maintained. New vehicles will need to be leased or purchased to replace vehicles that
have high mileage or damage.
If you’re trying to decide how to start a car rental business, choose between starting your
own brand and purchasing a franchise. While a franchise will charge a considerable fee,
you will have the benefit of expert assistance while you begin, as well as instant name
If you’re confident of your abilities to start out on your own, you can use the funds to
purchase additional vehicles or on advertising instead of on the franchise fee.
How To Start A Car Rental Business – Getting Started
When thinking about how to start a car rental business, vehicles will be the first
acquisition that comes to mind. You will need to decide which makes and models you
will rent. You may want to offer a few trucks or luxury cars in addition to standard cars.
You’ll also need a storefront location with adequate parking.
Computer equipment will be necessary to process payments, verify information, and
record your income and expenses. A number of forms including contracts and waivers
will be required in addition to equipment and supplies to clean the cars between drivers.
A comfortable waiting area should also be provided.
Many car rental companies also offer maps and information about the surrounding area
for their customer’s convenience. You should be able to find these pamphlets at no cost
from the local tourism office.
Consider the licensing requirements when deciding how to start a car rental business.
You will need a business license and a car dealer license. While you’re only renting
vehicles, the paperwork involved is much like selling a car. During the rental transaction,
the registration is temporarily transferred to the renter.
A car rental company should purchase generous liability and auto coverage policies in
addition to workman’s compensation insurance.
Finding Rental Car Customers
To find customers when learning how to start a car rental business, make sure that the
parent company lists you on their website if you purchase a franchise. If you’re on your
own, have your business listed in the local phone book under car rentals as well as on
You’ll also need your own website so that customers can reserve cars online. Not only
will this self-service option help you reduce your labor costs, most car renters prefer to
browse their options online and make their own reservations.
If possible, locate your new business near an airport or car dealerships. A contract with a
local car dealership to provide rental cars for their service department would supply a
large amount of business to your company.
Leave your number or business cards with body shops and smaller shops as well. If your
local airport gives recommendations for car rentals, ask if your business can be added to
the list. In addition, discounts for weekly or weekend rentals and a pick-up/drop-off
service could draw in more business.
Expanding And Specializing
Once your new car rental business is a success, think about expanding. You may choose
to open more rental locations in other areas. A used car lot would offer the perfect
opportunity to sell cars that are getting past the point where they make attractive rentals.
A limousine or driver service could be another expansion opportunity.
The rental car market is highly competitive with several powerful, well-known
competitors. To help give yourself an edge, consider specializing in niche rental cars. For
example, you could rent sports cars, luxury sedans, off-road vehicles, or other unique
American Car Rental Association
American Rental Association