Important facts described briefly below:
In the rental car business, the difference between a rental car broker, often called an operator or provider, and a direct supplier is the vehicle fleet. A direct supplier/rental company has a vehicle fleet, while a broker has an intermediary function and does not have vehicles. Brokers only have access to the supplier's fleets and rent them indirectly. The suppliers manage the vehicles and carry out the rental.
The brokers take a contingent from direct suppliers and often receive a discount. For this reason, offers from brokers are usually cheaper than those from direct suppliers.
The rental car industry is divided into many different segments, with the rental car broker being one of them. Below we try to address all relevant questions on this topic. We also explain how rental car brokers differ from direct suppliers. Below 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 a fleet of vehicles. Instead, it acts as an intermediary between direct suppliers (car rental companies), with vehicle fleets, and people who are interested in renting a car. The broker has access to a set of available rental cars from car rental companies that ultimately rents them out to you.
Who falls under this category?
Typical brokers in the industry are providers like Orbitz - who do not have vehicles but have access to third-party fleets from suppliers like Enterprise. Additionally, cars are picked up at the supplier's 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 car broker’s website. The physical rental is carried out by the rental car supplier on-site.
What does a rental car broker do?
The broker rents a block of vehicles, in a specific region and the associated locations, at a discount. They then rent out 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 suppliers.
What is the difference between a broker and a direct supplier?
There is a crucial difference between brokers and suppliers: the car rental company or direct supplier owns its vehicle fleet. Suppliers also have fixed locations where cars can be rented. Some examples of suppliers include Hertz, Alamo, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The well-known suppliers generally offer services nationwide. Lesser-known small providers, with regional restrictions, complement the offer.
Why are the prices from brokers inexpensive?
Since the rental car brokers take over a vehicle quota, they receive a bulk discount from the direct suppliers. The benefit is then passed on directly to you as a customer, and you can benefit from lower prices for the rental car.
Are rental cars with a broker always cheaper than with a direct supplier?
No, brokers cannot guarantee lower prices. Although the broker's discount in the rental car sector is passed on directly to the customer, this does not necessarily mean they will have the cheapest possible offer. It may be that the prices for the rental car are lower, but the additional services such as the chosen insurance package are more expensive. The customer should take into account the combined prices. 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 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, in rare cases, there may be a contractual agreement that the supplier 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 supplier: 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 direct suppliers as well as brokers worldwide so that you can get a complete overview of all available offers.