The following is a guest post by United International Car Rentals on the state of the rental market in Ukraine. It has been edited for grammar and clarity.
During the last few years, Ukraine has been portrayed negatively in the news because of the situation in Crimea and the Eastern part of the country. But the country is winning popularity and its 45 million citizens become an important economical factor again.
Car rental was introduced in Ukraine a few years after the independence of the country (1991) and in 1998 Hertz was the first international franchise to enter the market. Since then, over time, almost all franchise companies has started activities and have presence now in the capital Kiev and popular places like Odessa and L’viv.
The Hertz franchise was operated by First Rental, a Dutch subsidiary. Although the market is still rather small, mainly because local car rental is still underdeveloped, it is growing, with around a 30% increase in business during the last years. International brokers see Ukraine more and more as an interesting market, and budget airlines are also starting to cover the country and this will further increase when open sky agreements will start to be in force.
Five years ago, First Rental decided to terminate the franchise contract with Hertz and to continue independently under the name "United International Car Rentals" and has become the leading provider for the international brokers.
First Rental/United started 20 years ago as a pioneer in car rental and is proof that even in very unsure and unstable markets, it is possible to develop car rental business in accordance with all international standards.