Car rental agencies are trying to turn the Philippines into a luxury destination for car lovers in the US, with some saying they will even let you rent a Mercedes-Benz for a few weeks at a time.
According to the Philippines’ largest rental agency, the Carrentals Group, they have signed up more than 50 car rental companies and are looking to set up one or more carshare networks in the country.
“We are looking for a network of car rental agencies in the region of 6,000,” said Carrenters Group President Juan Carlos Quezon.
“The goal is to get the car rental industry on its feet by connecting Filipino consumers with the car market.”
According to Quezon, car rental agency Carrents Group has a presence in the area.
Carrent services have also been available in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Car rental company Carrent, which has a network in five countries, operates in Singapore and Vietnam, but the Philippines is the only country where it operates.
“Carrent is looking to expand into the Philippines,” Quezon said.
Car rentals are not a new trend in the Asia-Pacific, with several other countries including Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore and Malaysia also having car rental services.
Car rental agency Cebu Tours Philippines launched Carrent Carrent Services Philippines, which began offering car rental in December 2015.
The Philippines is home to the largest car rental market in Asia, and Quezon expects Carrent to make inroads into the country’s car rental marketplace.
“Our car rental agents are also looking for more local companies to expand our network, so we can offer more services to our customers,” Quezon said.
The car rental sector is growing in the Philippine market, with many people looking to rent cars in places like Manila, Manila Bay and the Greater Manila Area.
Quezon believes the Philippines will become a destination for luxury car rental as a result of the country getting a brand new, fully autonomous vehicle, called the SmartCar.
Quezson added that the SmartCars will be able to accommodate a maximum of five people in the back seat.
The company is still in the early stages of developing the SmartCAR, but Quezon sees it as a big step towards the Philippines becoming a global destination for the luxury car industry.
The Philippines’ Carrent Group has about 5,000 members, and more than 80 percent of its members are foreign nationals.
Car Renters Group is also a member of the CarRental Association of Southeast Asia, which is also an investor in Carrent.