The UK car rental industry is booming at the moment, and it’s a trend that is set to continue. According to the BVRLA, last year, the UK’s vehicle renting and leasing industry contributed approximately £49 billion to our economy. It was also found that this sector provides more than 465,000 jobs.
Car rental businesses offer the convenience, flexibility and brand familiarity that customers crave when they’re looking to hire a vehicle, either home or abroad. A huge range of vehicles are available to hire, from superminis to 4x4s, meaning all customer needs can be met. Not only that, but as the vehicles are regularly upgraded and well-maintained, customers can be confident that the cars are mechanically sound and safe to drive.
The popularity of hire cars shows no sign of slowing, as they offer incomparable ease, privacy and reliability for those who need transport for just a few days. Independently run, smaller car rental businesses are also being established to rival the top five players that currently hold a whopping 85 percent of the UK market.
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These companies offer customers an alternative to the big brands and tend to be more competitively priced. However, the quality and quantity of vehicles on offer is likely to be limited. And, unless they are part of a franchise, you’ll only be able to use the car locally, as it will have to be collected from and returned to the same depot.
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Driving demand for car rentals
Although alternatives to car hire are available, such as Uber and Blablacar, these options are unable to match the benefits of a car hire arrangement, which offers renters the freedom and privacy of their own car, without the long-term expenses. Other reasons to hire a car include:
- Many city workers don’t need a car to commute to the office, with public transport or walking being preferred over traffic jams and congestion charges. Rather than owning a car that depreciates on the driveway only to be used on weekends, more people are turning to car hire when they need it, rather than buying a car.
- Those that have a car may have occasions when a standard hatchback isn’t big enough. So, whether it’s to enjoy a journey with family or friends, or to transport goods or furniture, there is very often a need to hire a larger vehicle.
- As the appeal of driving holidays increases, more people are turning to car hire to reduce the wear and tear, as well as keeping the mileage low on their own vehicle.
Car Rental Franchise Opportunities
There are five car rental operators with a truly European-wide presence, and three of them have franchise opportunities available.
Sixt was founded in Germany in 1912 and is still run by the family of Martin Sixt, who started the business with just three rental cars. The company has come a long way in the last 100 years, with a global presence in 5,000 locations in more than 110 countries. This impressive expansion has been aided by franchise opportunities being made available from 1998, with the initial objective to create a car rental network across Europe.
Due to the large scope and investment required to join this franchise, an understanding of the car rental industry is recommended, but franchisees will also receive all the necessary training regardless of experience. As you would expect from a franchise of this size, the training and support package that you’ll receive is world class. You’ll receive help to find the perfect size and mix of fleet vehicles, as well as the coaching needed to run the business. Training sessions and workshops will take place in the UK, as well as in head office’s high-tech training academy in Munich.
Hertz is the world’s largest airport car rental brand and is instantly recognisable by millions of travellers in 145 locations worldwide. The company had humble beginnings and was founded in 1918 with 12 Model T Fords for hire. In 1923, John Hertz bought the business and the brand was born. Hertz can cater to the needs of all car renters, from hybrid vehicles to luxury cars. Indeed, if money is no object, Porches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis can be hired.
As there is a lot of interest and competition to become a Hertz franchisee, the company has listed some specific attributes that their franchisees should possess.
It is important to have proven automotive experience, preferably having previously worked as a car dealer. Also, they should understand buying and selling cars and have experience in the travel or tourism industries. Franchisees should be able to demonstrate strong communication and leadership skills too. A net worth of £386,000 and a liquid capital of £116,000 is needed to invest in this franchise.
Founded in 1949 in Paris, this global brand now operates in over 160 countries. Focussing on the quality of cars available for hire, the average age of a rental car is between four and eight months. This means that customers can travel in comfort and style cost effectively.
When you invest in this franchise, you’ll become part of an internationally growing brand that consistently has a turnover of more than £1 million every year.
The sheer scale of this business means that any potential franchisees should be determined, and have credible business experience and enough capital to invest in the reputable brand. When you sign on the dotted line, you’ll attend an intensive six-day training programme to teach you about the successful Europcar business model. You’ll also receive research materials so that you can fully appreciate Europcar’s standards, procedures and products.
Expert advice will be provided to ensure that you find the perfect location for your business. You’ll also benefit from international marketing, as all franchisees are featured on the Europcar website so that customers needing a hire car in your area will be directed to you.
According to Europcar’s website, it isn’t currently looking to expand its UK network, unfortunately. It is only looking for franchisees in certain countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Central Asia.
The UK market provides an array of possibilities for the vehicle renter. With unbroken sector growth that doesn’t look like its stopping, it appears that the UK car rental market will go from strength to strength while continuing to improve its service to customers.
Opportunities with Point Franchise
Green Motion holds the title of the only 100 percent fully franchised vehicle rental company in world. It is a UK-based business that was founded in 2007, and its nationwide franchise network has expanded to 22 locations.
But it doesn’t stop there – it has achieved large scale expansion overseas too, so people in over 40 countries can enjoy renting a lower CO2 emission vehicle with Green Motion. This actually places the franchise as the sixth largest car and van rental business in the world.
But exactly how has Green Motion dominated the market both in the UK and internationally? Well, Green Motion is constantly investing in making technological advancements, and the fact that it considers its environmental impact sets it apart from other companies. Also, Green Motion has developed a proven business plan and has clearly nailed its franchise model, which explains its ability to expand globally through a successful franchise network.
Once you become a franchisee with this brand, the net profit you can expect is around £40,000. But what else can you look forward to when you join this franchise?
A highly skilled management team will assist you on a daily basis in all aspects of the franchise. In terms of the sales and business development, you will get access to fleet and insurance, multi-channel websites and connections with major global supply partners. You will also receive operational support in the form of location and business planning and full training of the systems.
That list doesn’t even cover everything either. To get more information about the training and ongoing support that Green Motion provides its franchisees and any more information, either visit its website or view its client page here.
You’ll need to make a minimum investment of £70,000 and a total investment of £140,000 to become part of this innovative franchise.
If you’re keen to get into the car industry but aren’t sure which sector, or if vehicle rental is right for you, there are plenty of other car franchises in our books. We have the car repair franchises, ChipsAway, Revive! Auto Innovations and Autoglym. And if you fancy yourself as a bit of a tyre whizz, there is Etyres and Hometyre too. A unique franchise opportunity you might not have thought of is Optic-Kleer, which is the biggest windscreen repair company in the UK. Whatever you fancy, there are plenty of franchises to choose from and a range of investment sizes to suit everyone’s budget.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©