Nigeria has a population of over 180 million people. Not up to half of that population owns a car, but more than half of that population would need to move from place to place everyday. They would also need to move their luggage.
Even among those who have cars, it’s not everyday they would want to take their cars out.
Now adding the fact that okadas and Kekes, etc. have all been banned in Lagos state , the point I am trying to help you see is that there is always market for car rental services in Nigeria. Therefore, it would do you a whole lot of good if you knew how to start and maintain a car rental service in Nigeria.
So what are the things you need to do to start a car rental business in Nigeria?
What is the most favorable type of rental service that you would want to get involved with? An airport cab? Uber? Regular taxis? Spend some time researching the market and its returns. You should have a full understanding of whatever you choose to do. Your research should also include the best places and the best type of car rental services in Lagos, Abuja or any other area you're in.
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Google and everything comes so easy
2. Determine your client
Some people would want to offer luxury car rental services and their clients would be restricted to people of certain classes and certain types of events. This is very important because it would determine the choice of the drivers and cars that you would buy.
3. Get a good car
Obviously, you need a vehicle that is fit for this kind of task. We recommend Toyota or Honda products. A used Toyota Camry 2008-2010 or Corolla 2005-2007 would do just fine for this type of job. However, we should say that it also depends on the type of occasion and the clients that you would be servicing. If you would be offering high end luxury car rental services, then you should consider a Lexus for this purpose.
It depends on your target customers to choose a car
Make sure that it’s a neat car with a good engine. The interior should be very attractive and the body should not have obvious bodywork. Remember, your clients would judge your service right from the appearance of the vehicle that you bring, so you would want to ensure that things are in place. Making a good impression on your client can be everything you need to survive in business.
>>> Here are the Best cars to buy for a transportation business in Nigeria
4. Get a driver whose head is settled
4.1. Typical characters of Nigeria drivers
In Nigeria today, we know that there are so many drivers who are rough, uncouth and very rude. Add to that dishonest and very dubious. Conduct a proper background check on whichever driver you are going to hire. Some of these guys are looking for naive car owners to use and even dupe while coming up with different kinds of excuses. Just so you know, some of the excuses include:
- The car had a fault.
- The spare part was more expensive than the amount you gave.
- They were arrested by some law enforcement officers and the amount they made that day was collected.
- They had a family member in the hospital.
Not all comers are going to be your cusomters!
As annoying and ridiculous as some of these things sound, drivers are very good at using them to manipulate the car owners they work for. You see, managing your driver is crucial if you want to succeed in car rental business in Nigeria.
4.2 Make sure you know these things
In addition to a background check on any driver that you have:
- Know all the checkpoints in the terrain that your driver would be plying
- Ensure that your mechanic and driver are not friends. They must not cooperate on any issue; if they are friends then they can collaborate to dupe you of your money by inflating prices, buying cheaper, fake spare parts and lying to you, there is no end to what they can do!
- Have eyes on him. Talk to people around to help you monitor your vehicle and let you know if they sight it at any location that is not your agreed route.
- Ensure that all your driver has a valid driver’s license. If your driver does not have a license, security operatives might arrest or delay them and your passenger would definitely be dissatisfied.
You might wonder why you have to do all of this. Well, the truth is that as much as car rental services are lucrative and yield very reasonable profit, the attitude of drivers can easily run it to to the ground. There are several examples of such people around and I am sure if you ask your friends, there would be someone with a similar experience.
The only way to avoid all this stress is if you decide to drive your car yourself. This is very good too, but it means you would not have time for any other thing and also, if you decide to add more cars to your business, you would eventually still need a driver. So these tips are necessary.
5. Get registered with appropriate authorities
If you would be working around airports, get registered with the airports so you would not get harassed by security operatives and other association officers. Get registered with the association for taxis and cabs too.
Seriously you do not want to have any wahala with these guys.
6. Market your business
It is the twenty-first century and you have so many way to get your car rental business out there. Talk about it on social media and you can even pay some amount for marketing agencies to help you do so. You might be surprised your potential clients have been on your contact list! People would always have dinners, events, visits, picnics that they would not want to drive to and if they know you offer car rental services, it is easier to contact you.
So, get yourself out there.
Social media has made it so easy to promote your business
7. Keep expanding and growing
Do not spend all your profits. When you are just starting it is better to invest your profits into buying more vehicles and getting bigger. This would help establish you as a major player and bring in more sources of revenue.
The car rental service business in Nigeria is guaranteed to do well once you block the loopholes that can ruin your business.
I wish you all the best!
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