Fleet seeks €2m to drive next stage for 'Airbnb of car rental' – Independent.ie


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Carmarkers are shifting from pure sales to renting cars via pay-as-you use platforms
Gabrielle Monaghan
August 14 2022 02:30 AM
Fleet, a peer-to-peer car rental platform that enables motorists to rent out their cars, is planning to raise €2m in the next six months to finance its expansion in the UK.
The firm has secured a contract with a luxury car distributor that will use Fleet to rent out cars to occasional drivers from more than 250 dealerships.
The platform, sometimes dubbed ‘the Airbnb of car rental’ for allowing motorists rent out cars sitting idle in their driveways, was launched five years ago by then-twentysomething Maurice Sheehy. Sheehy said the company is currently pitching to venture capital funds and to dealer groups, but is “open to discussing with strategic private investors too”.
“We have a B2B contract that goes live on the app store in the UK this month,” said Sheehy, who declined to name Fleet’s new UK distribution partner.
Carmarkers and distributors are increasingly shifting from pure sales to renting their fleets  via pay-as-you use platforms, aiming to further monetise their vehicle stocks and drum up additional revenue streams.
Sheehy believes this model will prove popular in the UK at a time when consumers and distributors alike are under pressure, with the Bank of England warning that the UK economy will soon enter a period of recession.
“People might not be in a position to buy a car, or they might hold off because of their current circumstances – but they will still need a car from time to time,” he said.
“So if dealers can’t sell as many cars, they will need to have a facility to maintain revenue.”
In 2019, Fleet linked up with Toyota to offer vehicle hire from car dealerships across Ireland via a new app called Toyota Dealer Rental.
The app allows drivers to rent a vehicle from a local dealership, such as for hiring a van for moving home or trying out an electric vehicle or hybrid for a month before committing to a full purchase. Users can opt for a daily hire or a monthly subscription.
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