History of the Rental Car Industry

The earliest known example of cars being offered for rent dates to 1904.The German company “Sixt” was established in 1912 with three cars for rent.

Joe Saunders of Omaha, Nebraska first started with only one borrowed Model T Ford in 1916, but by 1917, his Ford Livery Company was renting out 18 Model-T’s at 10 cents per mile. The company name became Saunders Drive-It-Yourself System and then Saunders System. By 1926, Saunders had expanded to 56 cities. Saunders’ company was bought by Avis in 1955.

An early competitor to Saunders was Walter L. Jacobs, whose Chicago-based Rent-a-Car opened in 1918 with twelve Ford Model T. The company was bought in 1923 by John Hertz.

The growth in travel after World War II led to the establishment of several well known international companies, including National Car Rental (1947), Europcar (1949), Enterprise Rent-A-Car (1957), Thrifty Rent A Car (1958), and Budget Rent a Car (1958).

In 1990, Guardian Rent-A-Car was established in Pensacola, Florida.

For the best deals on car rentals, call – Guardian Rent-A-Car: (850) 456-0351


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