And according to Mordor Intelligence:
The Car rental market accounted for USD 119.28 billion in 2021, and it is expected to reach USD 223.07 billion by 2027, projecting a CAGR of more than 11% during the forecast period (2022 - 2027).
Whichever way you look at it, the global car rental market is in good shape. However, the growth of the market is not good news if you're not in a position to at least keep pace with your competition and take advantage of the opportunities which are out there.
The world of car rental consists of many large and well established global corporations such as Hertz, Avis, Sixt and Enterprise, along with thousands of independent businesses and franchises, offering more than just cars for rent.
Vans, motorcycles and other forms of self-drive transportation are also available to book online, and some companies also provide chauffeur drive services for those customers who simply want to be driven between locations instead of hiring a self-drive vehicle.
Many of these global corporations provide a means of customers booking vehicles in countries around the world via localised branded websites in the native language of that customer, and their reservation platforms extend beyond the website to provide customer service teams and 3rd party booking channels with real time access to vehicle availability and pricing.
They also need to meet the needs, requirements, laws and regulations of where the customer is booking from, and the country where the customer intends to drive the car.
The Source country (where the customer is resident) would not only determine which currency to display prices, but could influence other things such as whether opting-in to mailing lists, etc., can be pre-selected where the customer would need to take action to opt out, or require manual consent to opt in.
The Destination country (where rental pickup location is) could influence things such as age restrictions, winter or snow tyre use, child seat size/age ranges, driving permits required, etc.
There may also be combined criteria which apply to specific source and destination countries. An example is the way the rules changed during Brexit, and the UK was no longer part of the EU. Overnight this impacted the requirements for UK citizens travelling into the EU, and EU travelling into the UK.
So the scope and possibilities within the global car rental market is incredibly varied, but not all companies who provide such a range of options handle those variations well.
Independent car rental companies often operate in local markets, also referred to as domestic markets.
In most cases this means that their business caters for customers renting within a single country, or in some cases they might cover a region or a group of islands such as the Canary Islands or the Balearics.
There is a relative simplicity to this approach, because the complexities of complying with differences in international laws and regulations do not need to be factored into the booking platform, and reservations are often made in a single currency.
Some car rental companies who operate in a domestic market become franchises of one the larger brands. That can also mean inclusion of their rental locations and vehicles on the main reservation platform of the larger brand, which has the potential to increase the chance of inbound reservations from international customers.
Individual brands have their own processes and criteria for franchise agreements. Many franchisees who go through this process often already have an existing website, but need to be
on-boarded onto the core web platform of the major brand. They'll then undergo a process of translation implementation and content management and
localisation (adding information, promotions, etc) before their existing website address (domain name) is switched to point to their newly established presence on the main reservation platform.
My own career in car rental e-commerce began in September 2000, when I was invited to join Hertz after a 4 year period of producing websites freelance for small businesses. I then spent more than 20 years with Hertz Europe and Hertz International covering all aspects of global car rental e-commerce, including:
In two words: experience and expertise
Depending on your needs, your business, your market and the reservation platform you use, I can offer services from advice, guidance, analysis, planning, project management and testing.
An initial free conversation over email, phone or Zoom could help us to understand what your goals, objectives, ideas or painpoints are, so feel free to reach out. It will cost you nothing and you might come away with some ideas and even a plan.
Whilst bringing in a car rental consultant has its advantages, it is completely understandable if you're concerned that confidential information could be shared between companies who use the same consultant.
Trust and discretion are paramount, so let me assure you that:
Read the full review and more of my personal reviews and testimonials and feel free to get in touch if you think I can help.