A car rental company is a business that rents or leases passenger cars to customers. Car rental services typically last a short period of time usually 30 days or less, while car leasing agreements are for longer periods usually 12 months or more.

A car rental company rents vehicles at affordable daily and weekly prices. Common customers include travelers, those whose vehicles are out of commission, and businesses. It is projected that the revenue of passenger car rental in Florida will amount to approximately 4.520,9 million U.S. Dollars by 2024.

The global car rental market size was valued at $92.92 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $214.04 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 10.7% from 2020 to 2027.

Steps on How to Start a Car Rental Business in Florida

  1. Conduct Market Research

If you are considering starting a car rental business, you would need reliable market research to be able to maximize profits from the business. The first step in the market research process for your car rental business should be to develop market-based research questions in line with your overall business goal and objective.

In this regard, you should source information that will help you maximize your business, information that will help you know what your potential market will be looking out for from a car rental business, and also help you operate your car rental business with less stress and of course, build the business to profitability.

a. Who is the Target Market for a Car Rental Business in Florida?
  • Tourists and Visitors
  • Wedding Planners
  • Film producers
  • Musical video producers
  • Celebrities
  • Churches
  • Corporate organizations
  • Event planners
  • Everyone who lives and works in the city where you operate.
b. Is Car Rental a Profitable Business in Florida?

Yes, car rental is a profitable business in Florida. It is projected that the revenue of passenger car rental in Florida will amount to approximately 4.520,9 million U.S. Dollars by 2024.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

Yes, there are existing niches when it comes to the car rental business. Here are some of them;

  • Passenger car rental
  • Exotic car rental.
d. Who are the Major Competitors in Florida?
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • Florida Premium Rentacar
  • Clone Car Rental
  • Drop Top Car Rentals
  • Car Rental Fort Myers Airport
  • American Luxury Auto Rental
  • Hertz Car Rental – West Palm Beach
  • Avis Car Rental
  • Priceless Car Rental
  • Car Rental Airport LLC
  • Budget Car Rental
  • Green Motion
  • Legend Auto Sales and Rentals Inc.
  • National Car Rental
  • RentingCarz Rent a Car Miami
  • Fox Rent A Car Orlando
  • Reliable MT Inc.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Car Rental Business in Florida?

Yes, there are county, and state regulations and laws for car rental businesses. Most states require drivers to be atoin order to rent a car. If you are under 25 many companies will charge you underage fees. So also, players in this industry are expected to work with the existing regulations governing such business in the county or state where their business is domiciled.

f. Is There a Franchise for Car Rental Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for the car rental businesses. Here are some of them;

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • Priceless Rent-A-Car
  • Sixt Franchise USA LLC
  • Hertz
  • Avis Car Rental
  • Advantage Rent a Car
  • Dollar Rent a Car
  • Thrifty Rent a Car
  • Right Cars
  • National Car Rental
  • Budget Rent-A-Car.
g. What Do You Need to Start a Car Rental Business in Florida?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • Pool of Cars
  • Driver’s Licenses
  • Insurance
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Hackney Carriage (Taxi) Licenses
  • Employees
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.
Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a car rental business are;

Creative Car Rental Business Name ideas
  • Spring Hill© Car Rental Company, Inc.
  • Cab Fleet® Car Rental Company, LLC
  • Lehigh Acres© Car Rental Company, Inc.
  • Miami Gardens® Car Rental Company, Inc.
  • Boca Raton™ Luxury Car Rental Company, Inc.
  • Moses Long™ Car Rental Company, LLC.
  • North Port© Car Rental Company, LLC
  • Prince Philips® Car Rental Company, Inc.
  • Star Krest© Car Rental Company, Inc.
  • Jeremie Jones© Car Rental Company, Inc.
  • Jemmie Jewels® Car Rental Company, LLC
  • Palm Coast® Car Rental Company, LLC
  • West Coast™ Car Rental Company, LLC
  • Tyler Williams© Car Rental Company, Inc.
  • Sopita KYLER® Car Rental Company, Inc.
  • Deerfield Beach™ Car Rental Company, Inc.
  • Shannon Whyte™ Car Rental Company, Inc.
  • Pro Rent© Car Rental Company, Inc.
  • Julius Chamberlin® Car Rental Company, LLC
  • Fort Myers™ Car Rental Company, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for a Car Rental Business in Florida?

When it comes to the business structure of a car rental business, the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits. Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Car Rental Business in Florida?
  • General Business License
  • Driver’s License
  • Hackney Carriage (Taxi) Licenses
  • Zonal Permits
  • Signage Permit
  • Operational State Facility Inspections for your parking
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to start a Car Rental Business in Florida?

You don’t need any certifications to start a car rental business in Florida.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Car Rental Business in Florida?
  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit and Building Approval (For your parking)
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Driver’s License
  • Hackney Carriage (Taxi) Licenses
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Contract Document
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering starting a car rental business in Florida, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a car rental business in Florida?

The startup cost for a car rental business is not uniform. A car rental business will cost from $250,000 – $2 million to start, and that can easily go higher depending on your overall business goals and objectives.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Car Rental Business
  • The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services – $5,200.
  • Marketing promotion expenses – $2,500
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, and auto insurance) coverage – $15,400.
  • The cost of logistics software, accounting software, CRM software, and Payroll Software – $1,500
  • The cost for leasing a facility (long-term lease agreement) – $65,600.
  • The cost for facility remodeling and installations – $20,000.
  • The cost for the purchase of cars: $250,000
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery – $500
  • Phone and utility deposits will cost – ($2,500)
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $50,000
  • The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $3,150
  • The cost for the purchase of office furniture and gadgets – $8,000.
  • The cost of launching an official website – $600
  • The cost for our grand opening party – $5,000
  • Miscellaneous – $5,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Car Rental Business?
  • The size of the car rental business (number of cars to start the business with)
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The cost of branding, promotion, and marketing of the car rental business
  • The cost of furnishing and equipping the facility
  • The cost of the insurance policy covers
  • The cost of registering the business
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost of the purchase and customizing of uniforms
  • The cost of the grand opening of the car rental business
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

It is not compulsory to build a new facility for your car rental business, but, if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your own parking facility and administrative office. The truth is that building or reconstructing a facility will help you come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Car Rental Business?
  • Gas and lubricants
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage, and software renewal fees et al)
  • Salaries of employees
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Insurance
  • Marketing costs
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Operating Officer (Owner) – $68,000 Per Year
  • Admin and HR Manager – $48,000 Per Year
  • Fleet Manager $48,000 Per Year
  • Accountant $38,000 Per Year
  • Chauffeurs (Drivers) – $36,800 Per Year
  • Customer Service Officer (Call Center Executives) – $26,100 Per Year
  • Car Detailers -$24,000 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Car Rental Business in Florida?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

North Port™ Car Rental Company, Inc. is a registered and licensed car rental company that will be based in Orlando, Florida. We are in business to rent or lease passenger cars to customers typically for period of time usually 30 days or less, or for aperiod of time usually 12 months.

North Port™ Car Rental Company, Inc. has been able to secure all relevant licenses and permits to operate throughout the United States. We will ensure that we abide by the rules and regulations guiding the car rental services industry.

b. Products and Service
  • Leisure car rental services
  • Business car rental services
  • Car leasing services
c. Mission Statement

North Port ™ Car Rental Company, Inc. is in the car rental industry with a singular mission to make available some of the latest cars for rent and lease to customers at every given time.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to be listed as the top 3 car rental companies in Florida.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of a car rental business are to make available cars for people and organizations when needed.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Chief Operating Officer (Owner)
  • Admin and HR Manager
  • Fleet Manager
  • Accountant
  • Chauffeurs (Drivers)
  • Customer Service Officer (Call Center Executives)
  • Car Detailers

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
  • Excellent operational history
  • Availability of latest and reliable cars
  • Accurate estimates with no hidden costs
  • Experience and trained professional drivers
  • Excellent customer testimonials.
  • Not enough existing clientele to run at full capacity immediately
  • We will need a loan to build our parking facility and to purchase the latest cars
  • The owner is currently running the business solo and will need to manage construction/build out the existing business
  • Lack of economies of scale.
  • Build upon existing clientele
  • Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets.
  • Loans diminish profitability until they are paid off
  • The first year will be financially tight while we gain customers and pay off loans
  • Competition in the area could increase
  • Management of employees requires time, money, and efforts
  • The transport department could change its regulatory status and decide to enforce strict regulations that can strangulate new businesses.
b. How Do Car Rental Companies Make Money?

Car rental businesses make money by offering;

  • Leisure car rental services
  • Business car rental services
  • Car leasing services
c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Introduce your car rental business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to corporate organizations, hotels, travel and tour agencies, filmmakers, wedding planners, households, and key stakeholders in and around your city and state
  • Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in airports, offices, libraries, public facilities, train stations et al.
  • Use friends and family to spread the word about your business
  • Post information about your company and the services you offer on bulletin boards in places like schools, libraries, and local coffee shops et al
  • Place a small or classified advertisement in the newspaper, or local publication about your company and the services you offer
  • Leverage referral networks such as agencies that will attract clients who would need your customized services
  • Advertise your business in relevant magazines, newspapers, TV, and radio stations.
  • Engage in a direct marketing approach
  • Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied students
  • Join local chambers of commerce and industry to market your services.

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?

The cost to rent a car varies based on the make and model, specific location, dates, times, vehicle availability, and length of rental. For example, low-end cars such as a Nissan Versa cost around $35 to $50 per day. Upscale cars like a Mercedes-Benz or Lexus will run upwards of $100 to $200 or more per day.

b. How Much Profit Do Car Rental Business Owners Make a Year in Florida?

The amount of profit a car rental business owner in Florida is expected to make a year is not fixed, but on average, they can make over $75,000 a year.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the car rental business (number of cars owned)
  • The car makes and model, specific location, dates, times, vehicle availability, and length of rental
  • The location the car rental business is covering
  • The management style of the car rental business
  • The business approach of the car rental business
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the car rental business
  • The number of years the car rental service is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Car Rental Business?

The profit margin of a car rental business is not fixed. It could range from 5 percent to 25 percent depending on the distance covered and other factors.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for a car rental business. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in Florida;

  • First Fiscal Year: $320,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: 460,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $620,000
  1. Set Up your Shop/Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Car Rental Business in Florida?
  • The demography of the location
  • The purchasing power of businesses and residents in the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of car rental businesses in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What City is Best to Open a Car Rental Business in Florida?
  • Jacksonville
  • Miami
  • Tampa
  • Orlando
  • Petersburg
  • Hialeah
  • Port St. Lucie
  • Cape Coral
  • Tallahassee
  • Fort Lauderdale.
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Car Rental Business in Florida?
  • Pool of cars
  • Car tracker
  • Booking software
  • Dash Cam
  1. Hire Employees

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard car rental business, you should make plans to hire a competent chief executive officer (you can occupy this position), admin and HR manager, fleet manager, accountant, chauffeurs (drivers), car detailers and customer service officer (call center executives).

  1. Launch the Business Proper

In recent times, no car rental business opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.

With a proper launching of the car rental business, you will officially inform people in your city that your car rental business is open for business.

a. What Makes a Car Rental Business Successful?
  • Choose a good location and latest cars to launch the business
  • Hire only competent, hardworking, and trustworthy staff
  • Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your car rental business
  • Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your car rental business
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Car Rental Business?
  • The business is open for the day’s work
  • The cars are washed, cleaned, and ready for work
  • Customer’s requests to rent and lease cars are attended to
  • Maintenance of cars is carried out
  • Marketing/website upkeep
  • Administrative duties
  • The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Car Rental Business?
  • Business management skills
  • Customer services skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Logistics and material handling skills
  • Good driving skills
  • Bargaining skill
  • Work experience in a car rental services industry
  • Experience in managing people
  • Experience in business administration
  • Experience in handling logistics and transportation software.