Reaching the impressive milestone of 30 years signalled time to change and in 2017 we rebranded as RaD Car Hire. Owned by NZ company The Index Group, we are part of a large network of locally owned rental car franchises throughout New Zealand and Queensland Australia. Known for our friendly, local service and great car hire rates we are rapidly becoming an institution in Queensland!
Under the brand name Rent a Dent we had been a kiwi household name for 29 years and in 2017 franchise owner Dean Hansen took the business through a major rebrand to better reflect the quality of the exisitng operation. RaD Car Hire was born. Purchased by the Index Group in 2019, the group has gone from strength to strength in spite of the difficulties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rent a Dent had been a real family business from the start. Founded by Denis Hansen in 1987, his son Dean later took over the reigns. ‘My first job as a nipper was cleaning the cars, then I joined the company full-time in 1999,’ Dean recalls. I learned the business from the ground up, then managed the Auckland Airport Rent a Dent office for ten years.' Rent a Dent began life when Denis saw an opening for a car hire business in Tauranga. He was stuck for a good name when his 8-year-old daughter Tami suggested ‘rent a dent’ from the back seat of a Datsun 120Y.
Rent a Dent started franchising in 1992 and within about six years had the country covered with 24 branches. The earliest Wellington franchisee is still there nearly 30 years on. Generally, our franchisees have stayed with us for 10 to 15 years, and we think that speaks volumes for the franchise’s systems and the overall culture of the business. It’s an enjoyable industry that delivers results.
We are delighted to have remained a locally owned NZ parent company, with local family owned branches in New Zealand Australia. Offering great vehicles, great rates and great service is a big part of the formula. And, people are becoming more aware of the consequences of corporate and overseas operators and don’t like to see profits simply flowing overseas, the big players and internationally owned and now the majority of tier two rental companies are owned by those big players. Customers know we are local to New Zealand and our franchisees are local to their particular town and region, and they see us re-investing within our community through sports groups and local clubs.
A good business depends on a regular flow of good ideas and RaD Car Hire has made a virtue of ensuring everyone in the franchise has a voice. Our regionally-based advisory council is made up of our franchisees and meets regularly. Our desire is that all our franchisees are equally successful and one thing we have learned is that every region is unique. What works well in one area may not work in another, so you look to find and share ideas to help everyone grow