Car or vehicle rental agents handle all the administration and enquiries involved with renting vehicles to businesses and the public. They may also be known as reservation, leasing, customer service or sales representatives or agents.
As a car rental agent, your work would generally include:
In some jobs you may deal with international clients.
In most full-time jobs you would work 35 to 40 hours a week between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday. You may need to work shifts if you work for one of the larger car hire companies that provide a 24-hour service at major airports.
You would be based in an office, but may spend some of your time moving vehicles that have been returned. Many employers will provide a uniform.
Car rental agents can earn between £12,500 and £16,500 a year. Team leaders can earn around £18,000 to £20,000 a year.
Salaries may include bonuses or commission for meeting sales targets. There may also be extra shift allowances for working unsocial hours.
You could work for one of the large international vehicle rental and leasing companies found in towns and cities throughout the UK, as well as airports and ports. There are also smaller, locally-based companies.
You will not usually need any particular qualifications, but employers will expect you to have a good general standard of education. Having the right personality and skills is often considered to be more important than formal qualifications. It would be an advantage to have previous experience of customer service, office, or sales work.
Some employers will prefer you to have held a full driving licence for at least one year. For work at airports, ports and tourist destinations, it would be helpful to have foreign language skills.
You may be able to get into this job through an Apprenticeship scheme. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers.
Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships provide structured training with an employer. As an apprentice you must be paid at least £95 per week; you may well be paid more. A recent survey found that the average wage for apprentices was £170 a week. Your pay will depend on the sector in which you work, your age, the area where you live and the stage at which you have arrived in the Apprenticeship.
Entry to Employment (e2e) can help to prepare those who are not yet ready for an Apprenticeship. In addition, Young Apprenticeships may be available for 14- to 16-year-olds. More information is available from a Connexions personal adviser or at www.apprenticeships.org.uk.
There are different arrangements for Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
You will do most of your training on the job and you may be encouraged to work towards NVQ's in Customer Service or Business and Administration at levels 1 to 4.
If you work for a member of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), you could access a range of courses such as an Introduction to Daily Rentals, and Vehicle Inspection and Damage Recognition. They also run short courses and a management development programme, which could be useful as your career progresses.
As an ambulance technician you would respond to accident and emergency calls, as well as a range of planned and unplanned non-emergency cases. You would usually work in a team, providing support to a paramedic during the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients at the scene of an incident and during hospital transfers.
You may use life saving skills as part of your day-to-day work.
A car rental agent needs:
With experience, you could progress to a supervisor or management post.
If you gain experience in business leasing accounts, you could become an account manager, or move into fleet management.
Institute of the Motor Industry
Fanshaws, Brickendon, Hertford SG13 8PQ
Tel: 01992 511521
British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA),
River Lodge, Badminton Court Amersham, Bucks HP7 ODD
Tel: 01494 434747
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