If you’re looking into how to start a car rental business, franchising may provide the quickest and easiest path. Franchises often provide help with inventory, setup, and marketing. And they provide a recognizable brand that you can use to build trust with customers. Read on for a guide to the top car rental franchises.
What is a Rental Car Franchise?
A rental car franchise is a business that partners with independent entrepreneurs to offer car rental services in various locations. Franchisees pay an upfront fee and often pay ongoing royalty and marketing fees in exchange for operational support.
The Car Rental Industry in 2022
The car rental industry has been impacted by supply chain issues and chip shortages just like many other businesses. So keeping a high inventory of vehicles may be challenging. But as more consumers begin traveling again, it is expected to be an active time for car rental businesses.
Why You Should Consider a Rental Car Franchise
If you’re considering different business opportunities in 2022, franchising a car rental company may be a perfect choice. Here are some specific benefits of opening a car rental business:
- High demand: People are starting to travel again, meaning demand for rental cars is high. There’s also a shortage of new vehicles due to microchip issues, so some consumers are going without their ideal vehicles and may need to rent more frequently.
- Ability to start quickly: Starting a business from the ground up takes time. When you franchise, the groundwork is already started. So you can get off the ground quickly while there’s still high demand in your area.
- Built-in trust and brand recognition: Consumers often look for recognizable brands when booking important services like car rentals. Franchising allows you to align your small business with a nationwide brand they may already be familiar with.
- Support from a nationwide brand: In addition to the brand name, franchising means getting support from corporate offices. This includes help with filling your lot and creating your price list.
Top Car Rental Franchise Options
If you’re ready to offer car rental services to your community, compare all the franchise opportunities available to find the best fit. Here are some top car rental franchises to consider.
1. National Car Rental
National Car Rental is a top global car rental brand that also runs Alamo and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.. However, National does not currently franchise in the U.S. and Canada. So their franchise opportunity is only for international entrepreneurs. Franchise fees and startup costs and car rentals vary widely by country.
2. Hertz Corporation Franchise
Hertz is one of the top airport car rental brands. And the Corporation also runs other popular brands Dollar, Thrifty, and Firefly. Benefits include a tech system and partnerships with airlines and hotels. The licensing fee varies from about $25,000 to $100,000 depending on fleet size, location, and potential for growth.
NextCar launched in 2003 and currently has locations in a handful of states, including California, Maryland, and Florida. There’s still plenty of room for growth in new markets, including at in-demand spots like airport locations. Benefits include fleet buying assistance and preferred pricing. The franchise fee varies from about $20,000 to $100,000.
4. Avis Budget Group Franchise
Avis Budget Group operates multiple car rental franchise brands, including Avis, Budget, Payless, and Zipcar. They offer a streamlined process to help new franchisees get up and running quickly and provide support throughout the licensing term. The initial fee varies widely, starting at around $25,000.
5. U-Save Car & Truck Rental
U-Save Car & Truck Rental is a neighborhood franchise that can be run on its own or in conjunction with another business like a dealership or service center. The initial franchise fee and investment vary by location and fleet size; franchisees should have at least $60,000 in liquid assets.
6. Sixt Franchise
Sixt is a European car rental brand that now has franchise locations throughout the world, including the U.S. The company specializes in luxury cars, trucks, and limousines. The initial investment and fees vary widely by location and fleet size. The franchise fee may be anywhere from € 20,000 to € 500,000.
7. Rent-A-Wreck Franchise
Rent-A-Wreck specializes in used car rentals. It’s one of the more affordable car rental franchise options available, because of the less expensive inventory. However, you’ll still need about $40,000 in liquid capital to invest upfront.
8. Priceless Car Rental
Priceless Car Rental offers a franchise system with both standalone units and those run in conjunction with other businesses. They offer vehicle leasing, training, and marketing support, along with their recognizable brand. Franchisees should have at least $50,000 in liquid assets. And the franchise fee varies from $18,000 to $75,000.
9. Bates International Motor Home Rental
Bates Motor Home Network offers motor homes and large travel vehicles instead of basic cars. This is an emerging market, as more consumers are looking for unique new ways to travel affordably. New franchise owners pay an initial franchise fee of between $17,000 to $35,000, aside from other startup costs like inventory.
10. Right Cars
Right Cars runs a tech-focused car rental franchise business. Franchisees get access to proprietary AI technology, comprehensive data on consumer activity, and apps for renting a car. Franchise fees and startup costs vary widely by location.
How to Choose the Best Franchise to Set Up Your Car Rental Company
If you’re interested in starting your own car rental franchise location, here are some tips to help you sort through the various business opportunities.
Consider Your Budget
Car rental franchise opportunities can be quite costly to set up. Potential franchisees with room in their budget may earn more with a well-known franchise brand. But other franchisees may save by sticking with neighborhood rental franchises.
Look for Open Territories in Your Area
If you’re only looking to franchise near your hometown, your choice may depend on what franchises are looking to expand there. For example, there may already be a Hertz system at your airport, but Right Cars may be open to expansion nearby.
Be Open to Growth Opportunities
In addition, consider how your franchise operations may grow through the years. Systems that offer on going support and multi-unit franchises may help you scale.
Compare Services and Offerings
Most franchise systems offer a training program and marketing support. But other benefits vary, so consider what’s most important to you, like buying support or tech offerings.
How much does it cost to open a car rental franchise?
Setting up a new car rental franchise location is quite capital intensive. You’ll need a large lot, likely in a premium area, along with enough quality vehicles to serve customers. Many franchise business opportunities require between $250,000 and $750,000 to get started.
Is a car rental franchise profitable?
Yes, car rental franchise owners can turn a profit in the first few years. The exact amount varies by location and fleet size. But some see profits of up to $150,000 to $200,000 annually.
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