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Airport car-rental startups challenging business practices of major players

Excerpt from TechCrunch

Nov 24, 2012 7:32 am

Skift Take

It may be a leap of faith to park your car at the airport and then rent it out while you travel, but car rental startups are at least making a statement that the standard ways of doing business aren’t etched in stone — and 6-page rental agreements.

— Dennis Schaal

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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 such as Flightcar and Silvercar 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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