FEXCO, the Kerry, Ireland-based global payments company, announced today (Monday, 30th August 2004) that it has acquired the entire shareholding of Nova RentaCar Reservations Limited, an independent worldwide car rental reservation service which is headquartered in Co. Down, Northern Ireland.
The company also announced that it will implement an investment programme to grow Nova’s worldwide business where more than 60,000 rentals were placed with customers over the past 12 months in Ireland, the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. Nova will operate within FEXCO’s Travel & Leisure product market group in conjunction with Gulliver Ireland, Ireland’s leading cost effective provider of tourism information and reservations.
Founded in 1998 by Patrick and Collette Baird, Nova offers discount rates on car rentals at more than 3,000 city and airport depots throughout the world with leading rental companies. These rental companies include Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Europcar, National, Sixt and Thrifty. The company’s coverage includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and North America.
According to FEXCO, Nova is an unsung success story of the dot com era which generates significant growth through effective online marketing and search engine optimisation, initially in the Irish market through www.rentacar-ireland.com. The company’s international business has increased dramatically over the past number of years via www.rentacar-worldwide.com.
From the outset, Nova has helped establish the parameters that now characterise successful online businesses: low costs, a simple booking process and competitive pricing. In addition, the company’s dedication to customer service has built up a unique user base of repeat customers.
Nova’s online booking engine selects the lowest-cost car rental available at a customer’s chosen location by using the AutoQuote system to identify the best car hire discount rates worldwide. A fully-detailed onscreen quotation is provided to allow immediate booking or an e-mailed quotation is sent to allow later booking.
Nova operates a booking deposit system thus avoiding the prepayment of the entire rental cost. It does not charge for making changes to a booking and deposits are refunded in full in the case of cancellations. Although Nova operates a predominantly online service, customers are not penalised for making telephone bookings.
Speaking at the announcement, Dr. Stewart Stephens, Managing Director, Gulliver Ireland, said, “FEXCO’s investment in Nova RentaCar Reservations underlines its commitment to offer the best value online tourism product in the market. Nova has established a well-earned reputation for providing an excellent service at the lowest possible price and we plan to introduce further enhancements that will develop Nova’s offering across the globe. Nova’s online strategy is a perfect fit with FEXCO’s and we anticipate that the company with benefit greatly from working with Gulliver Ireland.
“We strongly encourage travelers to avail of the transparency of the Internet by shopping around and comparing prices for each part of the trip. Customers should, by all means, book their flights where they are cheapest but they should ensure that other costs of a trip including accommodation and car hire are also bought at the best price available.
“Nova provides the best car hire discount rates and the friendliest booking service around. Likewise, accommodation is almost always best value on Gulliver as the prices are updated by the premises themselves on a daily basis. This gives us a fantastic base on which to build and we plan to compete aggressively on price and service, both at home and abroad. Certain operators are making big margins at the expense of both suppliers and travelers and we’re looking forward to challenging that,” added Dr. Stewart Stephens.
Mr. Bernard Roddy, General Manager, Nova RentaCar Reservations Limited, said, “Nova has spent six successful years building a worldwide online car rental reservation business and brand that is underlined by customer cost effectiveness and service. The acquisition by FEXCO and its further investment in Nova’s operations will allow us to reach the next stage of our business growth. With FEXCO’s online travel and leisure sector leadership and its global presence, Nova can extend its existing geographical offering and continue to deliver the highest levels of service at the lowest possible price to our customers.”