The first car rental business was started in 1912 in Germany by the name of Sixt which is still one of the largest car rental companies in the World. Then in 1916, Joe Saunders started renting Ford’s Model T and a local car rental enterprise was established in Nebraska. The basic idea was to provide private transportation to local & visiting businessmen so that they can move around in comfort and privacy for their business trips. This was what started the US car rental business and the rest is history. In 2016 the Global car rental industry was worth 58.26 billion dollars and is expected to grow to over 124.56 billion by 2022. Until 2010 and 2011 the car rental business in India was totally unregulated and unorganised. People relied on the hyperlocal taxi and cab aggregators for going on outstation trips. Ola started intra-city cab service in 2010 and become the first major player in the car rental business in India. However, there was still a gap in inter-city transportation services.
Car rental business in India
Companies like Avis, Carzonrent etc were already in India for quite some time but were not widely recognised as self-drive car rental companies. In 2013 Zoomcar came into existence and that’s when the self-drive car business started to pick up steam. All other companies also pushed in for a bigger chunk of this lucrative business that was still untapped in a country as large as India. These self-drive car rental companies came in to fill the gap for people who loved to travel to far off places but didn’t own a car. Today there are multiple car rental companies in India catering to the self-driving as well as the chauffeur-driven audience making it one of the fastest growing industries in India. According to a report the car rental industry in India is growing at the compound annual growth rate of 35% and is expected to accelerate further. It is expected to be worth more than INR 1000 billion by 2022.
Major Players in the car rental business in India
Some of the biggest players in the car rental industry in India are Zoomcar, Avis, Myles, Mychoize, Revv etc. There are in total 10 car rental companies in India that have organized the car rental business in India and are bringing innovative ways to generate user curiosity keeping customer satisfaction, safety and service at top priority. Companies like Avis and Zoomcar account for the biggest share of the car rental business in India.
Avis entered the car rental business in India in 1999 and has been since the best car rental company in India. It provides chauffeur drive services as well as self-drive cars on rent offering a wide range of cars from as small as a Swift to as luxurious as a Mercedes E Class. It pioneered the feature of free car delivery and collection for self-drive customers keeping in mind the customer expectations with the purpose of providing a seamless service. 8 location for self-drive and 19 locations for chauffeur drive across India gives Avis a pan-India presence making it a preferred choice for its customers. In the words of Mr Sunil Gupta, MD & CEO of Avis India “The self-drive phenomenon is popular in the West and is rapidly catching up in India. We provide the option of self-drive which enables customers to break away from the necessity of exploring conventional tourist spots in the presence of large groups and allows them to explore places independently.”
It was started in 2013 and is one of the leading car rental companies in India operating in 27 cities across the country. It offers a huge variety of cars and a few services. It has introduced a Zap service under which a person can subscribe a car for the period of 6 months to 36 months without any other hassles of owning a car.
It is a car rental company launched by Carzonrent in 2013. It has the same model of renting cars for self-drive wherein a user can rent cars like hatchbacks to rugged SUVs for a few hours or days. Myles supports a platform wherein both fleet operators and an individual who owns a car, can partner with Myles and share their cars on Myles digital platform.
Started in 2016 by ORIX, a Japanese car rental company, Mychoize is present in 13 cities across India. It also provides chauffeur drive services for its users with the options of doorstep delivery or airport transfers.
Future of the car rental industry in India
The market for car rental is growing rapidly in India, due to many factors linked to the easy availability of cars without the hassles of owning one. According to an analytics report by Statista of the Indian car rental industry, the revenue generated from car rental business was over US$ 250 million in 2018 and is expected to grow at a rate of 14.3 % to US$ 570 million in 2023. The number of users at present for car rentals is approx. 12 million in 2018 and that number is expected to grow to over 16 million by 2023. All these facts feed and reaffirm the optimism around the car rental industry in India along with its growth parameters make it a very lucrative industry to invest in. Also, the user penetration rate was just 0.8% in 2017 which shows that there is a lot of potential for all the players in the business to grow. A vast population is still oblivious to the concept of renting cars for self-drive purpose and that’s where these companies can jump in to create awareness among the people for this concept and thus can rapidly expand their user base. If all the numbers and projections are to be reckoned with then the car rental space is surely the place to be for the investors and new businesses.