In the rental car business, the difference between a rental car broker, often called an operator or provider, and a direct provider is the vehicle fleet. A direct provider / rental company has its own vehicle fleet, while a broker has an intermediary function and does not have its own vehicle fleet. Brokers only have access to the provider’s fleets and rent them indirectly. The providers manage over the vehicles and carry out the rental.
The brokers take a contingent from direct providers and often receive a discount. For this reason, broker offers are often a little cheaper than direct providers.
The rental car industry is divided into many different segments, with the rental car broker being one of them. Following are all relevant questions on this topic. We also explain how rental car brokers differ from a direct provider. In addition, there are helpful tips for comparing rental cars and how to find the best deals.
What is a rental car broker?
A rental car broker is an organizer / provider in the rental car business that does not have its own fleet of vehicles. Instead, it acts as an intermediary between direct providers (car rental companies) with their own vehicle fleet and people who are interested in renting a car. The broker has a certain set of available rental cars from car rental companies and ultimately rents them out to you.
Who falls under this category?
Typical brokers in the industry are providers like Orbitz - who do not have their own fleet of vehicles, but have access to third-party fleets from providers like Enterprise. Additionally, cars are picked up at the provider locations as brokers have no fixed rental locations. Many well-known sites such as Hotwire can also be referred to as a rental car broker. Vehicles for destinations around the world can be rented on the broker’s website. The physical rental is carried out by the provider on site.
What does a rental car broker do?
The broker in the rental car area rents a block of vehicles in a specific region and the associated locations at a discount. They then rent out the cars to customers. A rental car broker usually offers both a rental car and a combined offer. This combined offer usually includes insurance that covers you in the event of accidents or damages. Sometimes a car rental is part of a complete package combined with a flight or accommodation. The overall package is managed and paid by the broker; the individual services in the package are carried out by the direct provider.
What is the difference between a broker and direct provider?
There is a crucial difference between brokers and providers: the car rental company or direct provider owns its vehicle fleet. There are also fixed locations where cars can be rented. This includes providers such as Hertz or Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The well-known providers generally offer service nationwide. Lesser-known small providers with regional restrictions complement the offer.
Why are the prices so cheap?
Since the rental car brokers take over a certain vehicle quota, they receive a bulk discount from the direct providers. The benefit is then passed on directly to you as a customer, so you can benefit from cheaper prices for the rental car.
Are rental cars with a broker always cheaper than with a direct provider?
No, brokers cannot guarantee cheaper prices. Although the broker's discount in the rental car sector is passed on directly to the customer, this does not necessarily mean the cheapest possible offer can always be found there. It may be that the prices for the rental car are cheaper, but the additional services such as the chosen insurance package are more expensive. The component prices should be considered by the customer. An extensive price comparison is a good idea to find the best individual offer.
What if there are problems with the car?
In most cases, the contact person for problems relating to a car rental is HAPPYCAR. In certain cases, HAPPYCAR will contact the broker. If you have complaints or questions about the rental car booking process, please contact us first. However, there may in rare cases be a contractual agreement that the provider must be contacted directly in the event of problems. A look at the contract or the general terms and conditions should provide information.
Broker or provider: Which One Is HAPPYCAR?
Neither! HAPPYCAR is not a rental car broker, nor is it a direct car rental company. Instead, it is a meta broker that compares offers from more than 1,053 car rental companies across the globe. These include worldwide direct providers as well as brokers, so that you can easily get a complete overview of all available offers.