November 26, 2012

Airport car rentals: The next $10 billion industry ready for disruption


Airport car rentals are a big business - more than $10 billion a year, by some estimates - but the experience is pretty bad all around. Time for the incumbent car rental agencies to get some competition from nimbler startups with new ideas, processes, and ways of doing things better.

If you travelled by air for the wonderful holiday weekend, you might have been faced with the hell that is the typical airport car rental experience. There are the lines, the hassles, the constant upsells, confusion around cost of gas and insurance, and about 15 pages of paper that you have to sign before being able to pick out your car and leave the lot. Frequent travelers and members of rewards programs aren’t treated that differently. They have a shorter line and can generally have a better choice of available cars from the lot, but the experience isn’t fundamentally better.

Airport car rentals are a big business - more than $10 billion a year, by some estimates - but the experience is pretty bad all around. Which means it’s time for disruption! Time for the incumbent car rental agencies to get some competition from nimbler startups with new ideas, processes, and ways of doing things better! Thankfully, there are a few promising young companies working on this problem, and they could be coming soon to an airport near you.

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