Monday, 5 February 2018

The History of the Car Rental Industry

Whether you are planning a trip to some foreign land or you just need a loaner vehicle while your car is enjoying a tune-up, chances are you have had to rely on a car rental at some point along the way. And yet, even though we have all used them, very few of us know the history behind the car rental industry and how it grew to become such an important part of our everyday travel.
The U.S. car rental industry is believed to have begun back in 1916, when a Nebraska man by the name of Joe Saunders decided to lend out his Ford Model T to local and visiting businessmen. This savvy entrepreneur affixed a mileage meter to the left front wheel of the vehicle and would charge renters a total of 10 cents a mile to cover the wear and tear on his beloved Ford. It didn't take long for Saunders to realise he had stumbled onto a lucrative business idea. By 1925, Saunders' independent car rental company had grown to include operations in 21 states. Saunders also began to diversify his vehicle offering at this point. Old Chrysler ads from the 1920's boast that Saunders' fleet included nearly $1 million worth of Chrysler vehicles.
Competitors quickly caught onto Saunders' unique Rent-A-Car model, and it wasn't long before Walter L. Jacobs started renting out a dozen or so Model T Fords of his own. By 1923, Jacobs' business was grossing more than $1 million in annual sales, making him Saunders' main competitor. Both Saunders and Jacobs built their independent car rental businesses from humble beginnings, but only one would come out on top. In the mid-1920s, Jacobs made the acquaintance of Mr. John Hertz, owner of The Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company in Chicago. Hertz eventually bought Jacobs' car rental company, giving birth to what is now one of the largest chain car rental companies in the nation. Later, General Motors would buy out the Hertz's Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company, renaming the car rental portion of the business the "Hertz DIY-Ur-Self System."
The Second World War, along with the expansion of the nation's rail system, helped facilitate the growth of car rental demand across the United States. Railway Extensions, Inc., worked with rental agencies, allocating space for rental booths at railroad stations. They even provided telegraph service for rail customers so that they could reserve cars at one station and pick them up at another destination.
One of the major drivers for the car hire industry is increasing incorporation of advanced digital technologies in car rental services. With the advent of the internet and growing number of smartphone users, the dependency on technology has increased dramatically over the last decades. Investing in technology is not just necessary but it is a must for every car rental company. Car rental companies have to invest in IT in order to secure their future. Therefore the need for advanced  car hire software like Carhire Manager Web - will keep growing.