Top Rent A Car is a national car rental company with 13 offices in Bulgaria. We are currently the leading operator in this sector and have a market share of 44.5%, with the largest fleet of cars in the local market, with around 2,000 cars in different categories.
How covid-19 Businesses affected
The main customer groups in the car rental industry in Bulgaria are from Russia, Germany and England, which have been extremely affected by the COVID crisis. For this reason, our expectations for the market in 2020 were very pessimistic.
The pandemic has hit car rental companies hard. The decrease in the number of reservations has been enormous. The 14-day quarantine measure mainly affected those arriving in Bulgaria, and our business was mainly based on customers arriving from abroad.
This global pandemic threatened many businesses in the tourism industry, and those with inefficient processes either went bankrupt or were forced to cut large numbers of staff.
How we maintained growth during the crisis
At Top Rent A Car, we believe that true leaders are born in difficult times. Looking through the prism of time, we see that COVID was just a challenge that allowed us to optimize our internal processes. As a company, we have managed to keep our staff jobs, but even in 2021, during the summer months, we have not been able to reach the turnover that we had in 2019 before the pandemic.
Before the pandemic, the tourism industry was used to operating primarily with advance bookings, and job scheduling was not an issue. The pandemic has changed consumption habits and made people more spontaneous. Many have started to prefer making reservations at the last minute. This is due to the risk of imposing anti-epidemic measures in the country. This forced us to become more flexible and to be able to respond more dynamically to demand.
The COVID crisis has suddenly surprised tourism around the world. Most car rental companies around the world and in Bulgaria approached the situation very cautiously and did not take advantage of the newly opened opportunities.
At Top Rent A Car, we saw the opportunity to make the service we offer even more sustainable and to reach the target audience, which had been underestimated and neglected over the years by most of the players in the car industry. industry. By this we mean Bulgarian citizens and their rental car needs. Thus, we have diversified the public to which we offer our services and we have succeeded in reducing our dependence on foreign tourists. Thus, we managed to ensure the use of the vehicle fleet and our team, even in the situation where travel was suspended.
One of the prerequisites for being less affected by the situation and succeeding in redirecting our efforts so quickly is that, many years before, we have developed other segments of our business. We’re talking about business services related to our light trucks and car operating leasing. In times of crisis like this, the right strategies for a sustainable business are essential.
Objectives for 2022
In 2022, we want to increase our car fleet by around 20%, while adding more electric cars. We believe in a “green” future and we are actively preparing the transition to shared mobility. Ninety percent of our cars are new and meet the highest European standards for harmful emissions.
About the Author: Adem Adem is a marketing specialist for Top Rent A Car in Bulgaria.