A van rental business involves hiring out commercial vehicles to both private customers and business owners in return for a fixed rental fee. While it sounds pretty straightforward, you need to consider certain things before starting out, including: making the decision whether or not to run a contract or daily hire operation, setting up an ideal location, settling all regulatory requirements needed for a van rental business and building up your vehicle options. While the van rental market is highly competitive and comes with its unique risks, it can be very rewarding as well. Here are some guidelines to help you succeed in a van rental business.
Begin with Market Research
Before starting out, you need to fully understand the already existing competitive landscape and how your business would fit in; especially if you’re not going to be the only van rental company around. Find out what sets your product, service and company apart from your competitors. Determine how you’ll differentiate both your products and services in order to win – and grow – your own share of customers.
Another way to handle the competition is to learn from people already successfully established in the business. Don’t expect our local competitors to give you advice and teach you the business. Someone running a van rental business outside of your community may be more open to sharing startup advice with you.
Acquiring Your Fleet
The first thing to consider when amassing your fleet is to decide if you want to make an outright purchase (the more expensive option) or lease the vehicles instead. Even though your fleet doesn’t need to be a large one initially, success in the van rental market is very much dependent on scale and utilisation of vehicles, so this is something to think about in more detail.
Your vans should always be well maintained to offer your customers the highest comfort and convenience. Consistently having a rented van breakdown mid-route will only spell doom for your business. Maintenance can be carried out by a local shop until you are stable enough to employ your own maintenance staff.
Insurance is probably the most important issue when it comes to starting a van rental business. If you need to, you may go through a specialist insurance broker who can provide advice or help you with negotiations for a good insurance deal for your business. What you need is a specialist rental policy specifically permitting the use of vehicles for rental purposes, allowing high mileage and many different drivers behind the wheels. It’s worth shopping around to find the quality van insurance cover at the best price.
The van rental business is a big and still growing market. By conducting thorough market research, buying or leasing an adequate number of vehicles, maintaining and insuring them, you could be well on your way to making it big. Just remember to always offer a friendly and flexible service.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you could consider becoming a franchise i.e. buying into an already established business to make lead generation and marketing easier for you.