Fleet, a peer-to-peer car rental platform that allows motorists to rent their car, plans to raise €2m in the next six months to fund its expansion into the UK.
he company has secured a contract with a luxury car distributor that will use Fleet to rent cars to occasional drivers from more than 250 dealerships.
The platform, sometimes dubbed “the Airbnb of car rentals” to allow motorists to rent unused cars from their driveways, was launched five years ago by then-twenty-year-old Maurice Sheehy. Sheehy said the company is currently pitching venture capital funds and dealer groups, but is “open to talking to strategic private investors as well.”
“We have a B2B deal which will go live on the UK App Store this month,” said Sheehy, who declined to name Fleet’s new UK distribution partner.
Carmarkers and distributors are moving more and more from pure sales to leasing their fleet through pay-as-you-go platforms, aiming to further monetize their vehicle inventory and generate additional revenue streams.
Sheehy thinks this model will be popular in the UK at a time when consumers and retailers are under pressure, with the Bank of England warning that the UK economy will soon enter a period of recession.
“People might not be able to afford a car, or they might be waiting due to their current situation – but they will still need a car from time to time,” he said.
“So if dealers can’t sell that many cars, they’re going to have to have a facility to sustain their revenue.”
In 2019, Fleet partnered with Toyota to offer vehicle rental from car dealerships across Ireland through a new app called Toyota Dealer Rental.
The app allows drivers to rent a vehicle from a local dealership, for example to rent a van to move house or try out an electric or hybrid vehicle for a month before committing to a full purchase. Users can opt for a daily rental or a monthly subscription.