As the number of tourists visiting Greece grows, so does investor interest, with the car rental sector featuring high on the agenda.
Indicatively, according to market reports, the global car rental industry is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.6 percent to 2021. The total size of the Greek car hire market (including long and short-term or tourist rentals) was estimated at 631.8 million euros in 2016, with the crisis years and increased taxation taking a bite out of gains, according to a study on car rentals carried out by Stochasis Business Consultants. Seven years earlier, turnover was at 778.8 million euros.
In Greece, two major players hold 40 percent of the market: Listed Hertz-Autohellas, which recorded a 28.6 percent rise in consolidated turnover last year, and Avis Europe, which includes Avis Rent a Car, Budget Rent a Car and Payless. Other players include Sixt, currently seeking a strategic investor and Avance, among others.
At the same time, smaller players with fleets of 100-200 vehicles are growing strong in individual local markets registering higher sales in many cases than their multinational competitors, albeit facing the challenges of seasonality. These firms are usually located in popular tourist destinations and have managed to form long-lasting relationships of trust with local hoteliers.
According to the Stochasis study, there are a total of 1,400 rental companies in Greece, the majority of which are small enterprises.