Steve Sherlock, Managing Director of new online car hire company, Oodles.com, has slammed the vehicle renter broker model as unsustainable. “I’m afraid a broker model with 25-30% margins is just not going to cut it in this day and age,” he said.
“Everyone knows brokers have been screwing suppliers for lower and lower rates for years. I used to be one of them. But now that supplier direct bookings are getting more traction, I believe the game up for brokers.”
He claimed online car hire rates are much cheaper than those through brokers and that consumers will vote with their wallet. Oodles has just launched after securing funding from several investors including Mario Salvo, who founded Europcar in Australia.
Oodles, which features a slick price comparison matrix, enters a competitive though fragmented market niche with no dominant player. Sherlock claims there is a great opportunity to build brand awareness in this space. Oodles marks up its supplier rates with a flat 10% commission.
Car hire will be a major topic at this year’s TRAVELtech – watch for further details… TravelTrends.biz: July 20, 2007