Best Way Auto & Truck Rental's main operating office in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Best Way Auto & Truck Rental.
Major car rental companies aren’t the only ones looking to expand their networks with franchisees and affiliates. Airport Van Rental (AVR) and Best Way Auto & Truck Rental are two examples of new players adding non-corporate locations to their brands.
Best Way Auto & Truck Rental’s management has been in business since 1979. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Commerce Solutions, it operated airport rental locations in Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, and New York with a total fleet of around 4,000 vehicles and a staff of 97 employees.
After the sale of Flight Way, the executives formed Best Way Auto & Truck Rental in December 2015.
“The parent company of Best Way, American Commerce Solutions, believes the best way to move forward is to grow through a combination of corporate growth and affiliation,” said Alan Wagner, president of Best Way.
Currently, Best Way has 18 corporate locations and four affiliate locations in Florida, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Delaware, New York, Idaho, and Nevada — with more affiliates waiting to join the brand. The company’s main operating office is located in Las Vegas.
“The interest in our affiliate program has been significant since we opened the program last month,” said Wagner. “We plan to open an additional seven locations within the next 60 days.”
“The type of affiliate we are looking for is an independent operator or existing franchise looking to co-brand that has a good operation, that serves an airport, and is customer-service focused,” said Wagner. “We want an operator with a desire to grow.”
Best Way is positioned for affiliation success because it can offer territory that is no longer available through most other car rental companies that offer franchises or affiliates, according to Wagner.
Through the Best Way affiliate program, affiliates will also gain access to a number of agreements with various online travel agencies (OTAs) and GDS partnerships. Wagner says the Best Way program also offers unique aspects to a traditional affiliate network: Best Way can supply new cars to an affiliate through its financing and leasing programs.
“There are many more opportunities available to Best Way, and our Vice President Bob Thunell will be exploring those to partner us up with those OTAs that make sense for our business model,” said Wagner.
Affiliates also receive insurance at competitive prices, a national reservation system, and discount on signage. In addition, an affiliate is given access to Best Way’s support staff and training, which includes car sales and financing, Wagner says.
In 2007, Yaz Irani started Airport Van Rental (AVR) in Los Angeles.
Nine years later, AVR has expanded to 14 corporate locations in seven states. Locations include Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Ontario, Orange County, Las Vegas, Sacramento, San Diego, Denver, Portland, Houston, Indianapolis, and Chicago.
In addition to its corporate locations, AVR has launched its franchise initiative and is looking for entrepreneurs to join its network.
AVR’s focus is renting vans to seat seven to 15 passengers, according to the company. It also offers cargo and wheelchair-accessible vans.
“We look forward to adding our new franchisees into our growing business,” said Irani, founder and CEO of AVR. “We are proud to bring years of experience that will help our franchisees launch and successfully operate their AVR Van Rental franchise.”
AVR will provide its franchisees with support and training. “Our mission each and every day is to provide excellent customer service,” said Irani.
AVR and Best Way come in the midst of two other non-U.S. players trying to gain a footprint in franchising in the U.S.
Both founded in the U.K., Green Motion and Right Cars are currently expanding their franchise networks into the U.S.
Currently, Green Motion’s eco-friendly brand has franchises in California (San Diego) and Florida (Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and opening soon in Orlando). Right Cars launched at Miami International Airport in September and recently opened a location near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.