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What are some of the things you cherish at a car rental?

I have a small car rental (under 15 cars) and I would love to know what positive experiences at a car rental have resonated with you. Your responses will help me scale my small business. My vision is perhaps someday to have 300 cars.


I have a unique model because I rent 8-10 year old cars for sometimes 50% the price of a traditional agency. My cars are a couple years older but drive just as good as a 2021 model. It's my own shop and I focus on longer term rentals (2-3 weeks) and I might even start doing longer term leases for people (3-6 months) that might not otherwise be able to afford a car or lease. We're talking $400 a month, no down payment for 6 months for a 2012-2015 low mileage VW Jetta.


I never imagined I would be in this business but there's been a lot of demand for it and it's an industry ripe for disruption. Even with Turo, there's still so much room for improvement in the industry.


I have been working hard and have reinvested almost all of my paychecks back into the business. I would love to know what positive and memorable experiences you have had with other car rental businesses so I can try to implement them in mine. Thanks WR!

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16
braintank
Politicker
+6
Enterprise Account Executive
I only rent cars for short stints (2-3 days) when I'm in a remote area visiting clients. Typically I rely on Uber/Lyft but when you're in bumblefuck North Dakota ridesharing isn't always available.ย 

I always rent from National becuase of speed and convenience. I like that I don't have to wait in line or waste time at a counter, I can just pick a car and go.ย My company pays the expenses so I'm not very cost conscious.
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
Interesting. Sounds like I'll have to take some notes from National.ย 
letsgo
Good Citizen
Strategic AE
No line. Not asking me if I want insurance. And free upgrades.ย 
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
I make it simple. Everything is included in the price. No upselling on my end
PowerTie
Contributor
+1
CEO
Speed is key. Are you located near an airport or another travel hub?ย 
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
I am 40 minutes away from a kind of busy domestic airport and 2 hours from a major international airport. The town I'm in is very touristy and there are no car rentals here. The peak season is between Nov and April
TheFemaleWolf
Opinionated
+3
Director of Sales
1) Waiting in lineย 
2) Not having the type of vehicle you requested availableย 
3) A way to expedite paperwork prior to pickup would be amazing.ย 

Best of luck!!ย 
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
Yep, fully agree on #1 and #3. The less I have to do the better.
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
Simple is best!ย 
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
Thank you @TheFemaleWolf. So far no waiting since we are a small shop. I might develop some in-house software to eliminate paperwork all together with eyes on selling the saas to other agencies.ย 
Telehealth_2the_Moon
Notable Contributor
+12
Director of Business Development
Ease of use and ability to not spend time at the desk.ย 

Congrats on the business, cars right now are almost as hot a commodity as lumber!
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
The car market is just starting to go through the roof now! I might be making a pretty penny from the supply shortage this year.ย 
Telehealth_2the_Moon
Notable Contributor
+12
Director of Business Development
Yeah for sure, it's wild. My car is about 50% paid off and right now it's estimated to be worth a good 25% more than what is left on it. That was doing the Carmax instant offer so I could probably get more elsewhere.

BUT

I need a car so even if I sold now I would just be buying in the same hot market that I benefited from selling into, doesn't help much!
Show 2 more replies
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
First off, best of luck to you. Love seeing entrepreneurship. Everyone car company besides Silvercar (which can be $$$) and usually Enterprise has really bad customer service at least half the time.

To succeed, make it so people aren't even thinking about your customer service. Just get them through and happy as quickly as possible. Make dropping the car off as easy as possible.
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
Yes a lot of poor systems in place in the car rental biz. Not going to lie, it is a tough business when people trash your cars so I understand that my root the bad energy at most agencies. I hope that my good treatment of customers as well as letting them know I'm a mom and pop shop incentivizes them to take better care of my cars. I definitely try to make it as easy and positive as possible
Beans
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
Speed up my check-in/check-out - we all know I'm already late.
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
LOL! I'll try my best @Beans. What are some ways it's been sped up or slowed down for you?
rekled
Opinionated
+2
Strategic Account Executive
Additional comments beyond pickup / drop off...

I'll state the obvious, but the car must be clean: seats, dash, floor - free of dirt and dust. And the smell... please ensure any "smoking/vaping" car has been appropriately identified. I hate driving a rental that smells like an ash tray, or worse one with the pine/cherry smell.ย 

Are there tolls in the area? Please don't charge me $20 to "loan" the fastrak/pass or whatever. I will absolutely pay the tolls, but to loan the fastrak is ridiculous.

Do you have an App or ability to process changes web-based? I don't want to speak to an agent or anyone else to modify my reservation.ย 

Also, as a courtesy knowing where the closest gas station (without relying on google/apple maps) is particularly helpful.ย 
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
My buddy swears by Turo. I don't love renting cars, but will when I need one
poweredbycaffeine
Politicker
+7
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
I want to step off the jetway and be <30 minutes from tossing my bag into the back seat and driving away. This doesn't change if the trip is for business or personal travel (especially for personal travel). That's why I've kept my relationship with Enterprise for so long and why I stopped using Silvercar because they can't seem to get their facilities close enough to terminals.
Th
Theloanemperor
Opinionated
+1
Loan Officer
speed and convenience for sure
SaaSguy
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
Cleanlinessย 
Kinonez
Arsonist
+8
Team Lead
customer service, it's the key
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