The History And Future Of The Car Hire Industry

by : Thomas Pretty

The history of car hire is almost a hundred years old; the first hire company was believed to have rented Ford's Model T to customers and was started by an enterprising young man by the name of Joe Saunders. This was 1916, a time when many people did not even own a car, so Saunders' enterprise must have been popular with those looking for transport, and also those looking for the novelty of driving.

Car hire companies were quick to exploit the fact that having your own means of transport made journeys far easier and infinitely less stressful than public transport. The ability to travel in your own time cannot be underestimated while the freedom of having your own means of transport is a liberating factor. Car hire can be an important element of any trip as no matter where you are the world a car hire desk is never far away.

The majority of international airports have a car hire desk almost as soon as you step off the plane, well at least in the arrivals lounge. The last thing you want to do as a traveller after a long journey is spend hours waiting for a train and coping with the rigours of the public transportation network. A far better option is to hire a car and head out of the airport stress free and under your own steam.

Since the first day's, car hire companies have grown in number, today however they may well be entering a golden age. With inflated prices of public transport in Britain car hire offers a startling alternative to forking out for the shocking rail fares. If a group of adults has to travel any reasonable distance often the train can cost hundreds of pounds; a far better option is to hire a car and chip in together for the cost; the money saved is usually a considerable amount and can be better put towards activities.

Businessmen have realised this for many years and subsequently use car hire services extensively. For those who spend an eternity travelling, stopping in only one place long enough to have a meeting then board a plane again, the hire of a car shaves vital minutes off a trip. The commercial world has long been patrons of hire companies as frequent business is often rewarded. As most travelling businessmen will state, the less time spent travelling the better, especially for those with families at home.

Modern car hire companies have also realised the importance of holidays, unlike 1916, when Saunders' started his business, most people now have a car, that is why offering car hire as part of a holiday package has been an impressive ploy in the car hire industry. Fly and drive holidays are becoming more popular for tourists, seemingly with the shortened attention spans of the modern generation, holidaying in one place for any length of time becomes quickly boring. Car hire allows travellers to visit many parts of a region and also creates the opportunity to stop off and have some truly unique experiences.

So what is next for the car hire industry? A good question as seemingly the business has taken all the avenues open to it. An option it to start providing technological innovations as part of car hire packages. This is increasingly becoming the case with satellite navigation systems being included in hire cars to make journeys as simple as possible. This technological increase twinned with providing unparalleled customer service is the way to make a profit in the industry, after all airport car hire desks have to deal with some of the most stressed customers and keeping these happy is the path to repeat business.