French rail company buys private car rental website

GMT 18:19 2015 Thursday ,25 June

Arab Today, arab today French rail company buys private car rental website

Guillaume Pepy
Paris - AFP

France's national rail company SNCF said Thursday it had invested 28 million euros ($31.4 million) into OuiCar, taking a majority stake in the website that allows individuals to rent out their cars.

"Our eight million clients per day also expect us to offer new travelling options," said SNCF chief executive Guillaume Pepy.

Beyond acquiring the 75 percent stake in OuiCar, some of the funds will go to expanding the business in France and eventually abroad.

OuiCar currently has 20,000 members who offer their cars for rent on the website and 400,000 users in France.

Originally part of a website founded in 2007 that offered individuals the opportunity to rent all sorts of equipment, OuiCar set out on its own in 2011 and offers users rentals complete with insurance.

Its prices are considerably lower than using traditional car rental companies.

SNCF wants to be able to offer clients a complete range of travel services on its website.

We want "to be able to offer clients a service from the start to finish of their journey", and not just the train, said Barbara Dalibard, head of the passengers services unit of SNCF.

SNCF already cooperates with Avis and has a short-term rental service ZipCar, as well as a ride sharing site iDVROOM.

The company also launched an intercity and international coach service, iDBUS, in 2012.

OuiCar's main French competitor, Drivy, last month bought Germany's top private car rental site, Autonetzer, and has acquired two other French rivals, Buzzcar and Livop.


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