Choose a Business Model
There is more than one way to run a car rental business. You can rent your inventory by the hour, by the day, by the week or even by the month. Another option is to rent cars for special events, such as weddings or bachelor parties. The business model you choose will determine your target audience and how much you can expect to earn.
Decide what types of cars you are going to rent; this depends largely on your budget. The most popular options are economy cars, executive cars, luxury vehicles and SUVs. Factor in insurance rates as well as the cost of repairs and maintenance. A luxury vehicle, for instance, will cost more to insure than a sedan.
Brainstorm ideas for your car rental business. Determine how much money you’re willing to invest, how many cars you plan to start with and who your ideal customers are. You could provide one or more of the following services:
- Leisure car rental
- Corporate car rental
- Car sharing
- Party bus rental
- Wedding car rental
- Funeral car rental
- Airport car leasing
Since some potential customers may not have a driver’s license, you can offer chauffeur services as well. This may increase your revenue and allow you to reach a wider audience.
Have you ever used services like Uber, Lyft or Zipcar? Zipcar, for example, is a car-sharing service that provides on-demand vehicles, including vans and luxury SUVs.
This company and other similar ones are going to be your competitors and may force you to lower your rates. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to offer better services or get creative with your marketing efforts and product offering.
Register Your Business
In this industry, it’s particularly important to choose an eye-catching name for your business. Ideally, it should be short, relevant and easy to pronounce. Next, choose a business structure for your car rentals company, such as an LLC, a sole proprietorship or a partnership. Register for taxes and then obtain necessary licenses and permits. A surety bond may be required, too.