Global Snapshot: Bulgarian Car Rental Company Sees Rapid Growth

In this web-exclusive Q&A with Ivomir Stanchev of Top Rent A Car in Bulgaria, we get an inside look at how this company has grown from 20 vehicles to more than 300 since opening in 2003.

Ivomir Stanchev, internet marketing and sales, Top Rent A Car.
Ivomir Stanchev, internet marketing and sales, Top Rent A Car.

Locations

We provide nationwide services in Bulgaria with offices and we provide deliveries to all locations in Bulgaria and deliveries to all main airports on the Balkans (Turkey, Greece and Romania).

Fleet size:

We are the largest car fleet in Bulgaria with 300+ new vehicles from different car classes including a big number of 9-seat passenger vans.

Sofia Airport, Bulgaria
Office with parking lot. We provide meet & greet service/shuttle.

Varna Airport, Bulgaria
Car rental counter in Terminal 1.

Varna Downtown, Bulgaria
17 Tsar Osvoboditel str.

Bourgas Airport, Bulgaria
In terminal in the Arrivals Hall.


How did the business start?

The company was founded in 2003 by Mr. Milen Marinov. It started with a small fleet of 20 vehicles operating in the summer resorts around Varna. We saw a niche in the market realizing the need of a big, domestic car rental company and seized the opportunity.

With a lot of hard work, right decisions and key partnerships through the years we succeeded to become the biggest national car rental company. Nowadays we are working successfully with a wide range of businesses like hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, real estate agencies, etc.

Top Rent A Car service at Varna Airport in Bulgaria.
Top Rent A Car service at Varna Airport in Bulgaria.

What are your primary sources of rental customers?

We rely on our online presence and authority as our main customer source. Of course, it’s very important for us to have some global reservation system, global distribution systems, tour operators, travel agencies and local businesses.

Are you pursuing new sources of business/customers? What are they?

We never stop pursuing new partnerships, mainly online-based companies and local businesses. Along with the car rental we are developing additional services like operating leases.

How has the car rental market in Bulgaria evolved in the past 10 years? 20 years?

The car rental market has rapid growth though the last 10 years due to the growing number of the incoming tourists every year in Bulgaria. There was no car rental business 20 years before. Recent years the competition became more severe due to the Recession.

Describe your affiliation with Payless and how is it helping with your company?

We are proud to be an exclusive partner of Payless for Bulgaria and to provide car rental service to all Payless customers visiting Bulgaria. Payless is a good way for us to be part of the U.S. market even though there are not a lot of American travelers in Bulgaria. It’s been several years of a successful partnership and we are striving to continue the good affiliation in the incoming years. We commit ourselves to keep the good partnership and improve the provided service.

New fleet vehicles.
New fleet vehicles.

How do you buy cars (lease, repurchase, buy)?

Most of our car fleet consists of brand new cars bought in the past 2-3 years. We are negotiating with manufacturers and official dealers to get the best price for big corporate clients.

How do you sell your cars? (sell back to dealers, used car lot, auction?)

We have used car lots where we sell our cars. We also sell cars online and to other businesses. Because of the good maintenance of the fleet, we have corporate clients who are buying cars for their businesses.

CONTINUED:  Global Snapshot: Bulgarian Car Rental Company Sees Rapid Growth
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