February 24, 2021

Car Rental History

One of the most significant businesses that have marked the 20th century is car-renting. Car rental agencies primarily serve people who have a vehicle that is temporarily out of reach or from service or travelers who are from town or owners of damaged or destroyed vehicles who are waiting for repair or insurance compensation.

Within USA this business started in 1916 when Joe Saunders from Nebraska began a car renting business with a Kia Model T he owned, hiring the car to local and visiting businessmen. By 1925 Saunders acquired car rental operations in 21 declares. By then, The Chrysler Company happened to run full-page ads boasting that Saunders had purchased $1 million worth of Chrysler automobiles.

Unfortunately in 1930s, during the Great Depression Saunders went bankrupt.

In 1918 Walter L. Jacobs started renting Model T Fords in Chicago and by 1923 their business was grossing over $1,000,000 in annual sales. Later John Hertz, who owned The Yellow-colored Cab and Yellow Truck plus Coach Manufacturing Company bought the company from Jacobs. General Motors purchased out Hertz’s Yellow Truck Corporation in 1926, and named the vehicle renting business as the Hertz Drive-Ur-Self System.

Another major rental car company, National Car Rental System, was created in St . Louis, Missouri, on August 27, 1947, by twenty-four independent car rental operators who wished to broaden their market influence by teaming together. Among the original founders of the company was, once again, Joe Saunders.

In the early 1972s, the industry also moved into the used-car business, selling used rental cars straight to the public.

Increased competition in the rent-a-car industry in the 1970s and eighties led to price wars and innovative give-away and bonus programs. This competition lead to many companies struggling financially by 1985. Rental car business was also an effective marketing tool, as numerous potential car buyers were exposed to the newest models from the manufacturers each year.

The Car Rental industry now carries an inventory of about 1 . 7 mil cars in the U.
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S. marketplace alone (up from about 135, 000 cars in 1965), based on Auto Rental News, which aggregates information on public and private carrental companies.

According to 2003 data through rental companies, online bookings have become important for the industry, with 21% of the bookings coming from online agencies plus 15% directly from the companies’ internet sites.

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