The rise of the so called car clubs across the world has been well documented but has the expansion stalled and are they really a threat to the traditional car hire companies and brokers?
An example would be Gocar.ie in Ireland, launched as far back as 2008 the company has struggled to get a foot hold within the market place with stations across the most populace cities in Ireland. But with the largest of these the capital Dublin no even boasting a population of 1.6 million and with excellent public transport is it ever going to work out?
In London and other mega cities the car sharing or car clubs can work due to the density of the population but it isn’t a model that can be rolled out across the world. Car hire broker’s business base is heavily leisure sales with holidaymakers massively outnumbering business users. The hourly pick up on streets, yearly fees and mileage limits in place with car clubs will not work at all for leisure users.
So the car club can be used for business needs when an established office or workforce can cut down on fleet costs or even own car mileage costs. The hourly rates are better as the use will mostly be restricted to office hours and short business trips for meetings etc.
Car hire suppliers like Hertz and to a lesser extent brokers like Arguscarhire.com do cater to business travellers. The majority of this business is airport based with travellers wanting a car “on airport” and ready for action with many business accounts in place for ease of booking and release of the rental car.
So all in all, I think car clubs do have a place and will have a customer base, are they the future and a competitor for traditional car hire? Simply put no.