Guide to launch your car rental business

Renting vehicles is a quite lucrative business but it is also a very competitive sector. If you want to get involved in such business, you have to get strongly prepared: to define a serious business strategy, to have at disposal the necessary funds to build your fleet and to care of your cars, to obtain business permits, follow insurance and regulatory requirements and over more.
Is it a risky project? Of course, it is a business like any other, it involves risks but the opportunities for success are there, as far as you get yourself fully involved and adequately prepared. Here are steps you need to follow in order to build a successful, lucrative and quickly growing car rental business.

Carry out a serious market survey in your area of establishment

As mentioned above, car rental activity can be very competitive. Before you get started, it is very important to carry out market surveys in the area where you want to settle down. You have to gather important information if you don’t want to be completely off the mark and experiment failure. As far as car rental is concerned, there are few but important things you have to figure out: is there enough demands for car rentals in your area? How many competitors? Rates ? What type of vehicles rent out well? Where to set up your agency in order to target the largest number of customers?
You can conduct the survey yourself, but don't hesitate to ask your questions to professionals who have been working in this field for a long time.

Define the services you wish to offer and fix your rates: fixed period contract rental or daily rental.

When you have completed your initial research, you now know if the business can be lucrative or not. It’s time to define which type of car rental contracts you will go for, whether contract hire rental or daily hire rental.
According to your target customers, you can opt for the one or the other. If you want to touch the general public, daily rental is the best option. If you aim to reach businesses, contract hires are better.
The study you made previously will help you figure out what is working for your competitors so as you can position yourself in the same market or seek to conquer new ones.
It’s up to you to fix your rates but you’d better make comparison before. Check out the average rates of your top competitors align with them.

Choose a name for your car rental business and obtain business license.

Choose a catchy name for your car rental business. It is important in order to give your customers an idea of your services. The point with the name is to attract customers and to make them dream, to make them think that you are the best rental company ever.
Once you have chosen the name, register your business with the state government. Submit your application for obtaining your license. According to the local legislation, it may take about two or three weeks to obtain all your paperwork. Don’t neglect this step because if you are not in good standing, you won’t be able to hire employees and worse, you won’t be able to work.

Build your fleet, hire experimented employees and market your business.

You will need to buy several types of cars but no need buy them all at once. Build first a fleet of 4-5 vehicles.  The most important point is that you should own different types of cars in order to meet every demand of you target customers. For the general public, economy cars are more wanted. For businessmen, luxury cars are better options. Once you get the vehicles, never forget to insure them all. This is part of the legal requirements for car rental companies.
Hire then auto experts to work in your car rental agency: rental service manager, mechanics, carwashers. You can also choose to outsource these jobs but ensure a thorough follow-up of your service providers and be vigilant about costs.
Last but not least, market your business. Set up a website for your car rental company in order to target more customers, use print and social media, get yourself visible on video-sharing sites such as YouTube or Dailymotion, look up for eventual partnership with other owners of car rental agencies, etc.