An exact date of when car rentals came into being remains a controversial mystery, but it is widely believed to have begun in 1916 in the US, by a local of Nebraska. Little did he know he was about to set a benchmark in the history of one of the most important and sought after transport industries. It started with lending his prized possession to locals and businessmen. By attaching a mileage meter to the wheel of the car, he set a charge of 10 cents per mile. It didn’t take long for him to expand on his idea of a small business to one that leased out 18 vehicles of the same model at the same mileage fee. The success of the system spread across 21 states in the US, totalling 56 cities by the mid 1920’s. Around this time, competing entrepreneurs carved their way into the picture, each aiming to be better than the other.
While the great depression of the 1930’s saw the end of the industry’s founder through bankruptcy and the inability to survive a never-ending battle against tough competitors, the business continued to thrive with the birth of one of the biggest and most successful car rental industries today. During the Second World War, an expansion of the rail system brought a high demand in the rental of cars across the United States. Customers were able to place a reservation on a car of their choice at one station and pick it up at their destination using telegraphs that were especially set up for this purpose. Parking spaces were leased out to the rental agencies to accommodate their vehicles for hire. The partnership was a successful and profitable one that led to yet another milestone for the industry. Find out rental car for uber in Brisbane if you are after one.
Following the end of WWII, a spike in the airline industry strengthened the car rental one with travellers needing transportation upon disembarking. As with the railway expansion, car rental companies teamed up with the airlines and opened business locations within the major airports themselves. The first of many opened in Chicago’s Midway Airport where customers were given a choice of prestige vehicles to rent for an agreed period of time. This paved the way for another company to build airport franchises and utilize the airlines to promote their business to visitors from far and wide.
In order to survive tough competition, a number of independent companies joined forces to form a national system in 1947. Still, as more and more competitors arose to continue to meet the growing demands, the market started to suffer with companies facing liquidation when they failed to match competitive prices. Check out uber car hire in Perth trends here.
By the 1980s, car manufacturers began to take advantage of the rental industry with leading brands purchasing controlling interests.
Today, the industry remains strong with the aid of promotional and marketing tools that are on offer thanks to technological advances and the internet.