Cars on Demand interview: How to start a supercar business
In 2003 Paul Brown left his job as Sales and Marketing director at National & Alamo Vehicle Rental and launched his own car leasing firm, Cars on Demand, which is now located in Wakefield Trinity Business Park.
Twelve years on and the business has experienced significant growth. Along with a supercar hire service, Cars on Demand also operates out of five different cities, including Belfast, Dundee, Silverstone, Horsham and Exeter.
Paul recently spoke with Bdaily about how the idea of Cars on Demand was born, and the decision behind the launch of the supercar hire firm in 2009, which now offers a Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari 458 italia, Jaguar F Type V8S, Ferrari California and the McLaren 650S.
Before starting the car leasing business, Paul explained: “I used to be Sales and Marketing director at National & Alamo Vehicle Rental, and it was an idea I had because we used to have a lot of customers that would hire a car for two or three weeks, but end up keeping the car for three or four months, which was costing them a fortune.
“I thought, well, there has got to be a better way of doing this, and then we came up with the original Cars on Demand idea, which has flexible leasing - anything from a month until 6 months,” he added. “And that’s how Card on Demand started in 2003.”
Five years later, and as the business was doing well, Paul’s own success gave the car enthusiast another idea - the supercar hire service.
Paul explained: “The business had grown and I had bought a couple of nice cars myself. I justified it in my own mind and to my wife on the basis of ‘if I buy one of these it will be great fun and all will be happy.’
“But three to six months later, you are getting a bit bored of it, and don’t want to sell so the car isn’t worth anything
He added: “There must be a lot of people out there that want to drive nice cars but get sick of the hassle of running them, so that is when we decided to hire out high-end cars, and then the business just grew from there.”
As for the future, Paul believes the £2.9m turnover service will continue to grow year by year. “We started off on just a very small scale with two cars the first few years, and then we increased it to three cars about two years ago, and now we run five cars,” he said.
“There will be a gradual increase in cars, and we also know there is a new Ferrari 488 GTB that is just being launched and they will be available next year, so we will upgrade the cars to the latest model as they come out.
“We will also add another two or three cars over the next year.”
The UK is set to leave the EU on 31 October 2019. Are you preparing for Brexit? Complete the North East Growth Hub and Tees Valley Business Compass’ 3-minute survey →