National Car Rental is a premium, internationally recognized brand serving the daily rental needs of the frequent airport traveler throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia.
With National, time-sensitive customers in the United States are able to quickly choose their own vehicles, based upon their advance reservation and requested car class, and then simply drive away from the airport. National — which launched the car rental industry's first comprehensive frequent-renter program — further expedites the rental process for Emerald Club members by offering counter bypass as well as convenient e-receipts. The Emerald Club program also provides access to National's “Emerald Aisle,” an exclusive section of the lot where members can select any vehicle as long as they reserve a mid-sized car.
The SmarterTravel Editors Choice Award went to Emerald Club in 2010 as the “Best Rental Car Loyalty Program.” In addition, Emerald Club was awarded a 2010 Business Traveler Innovation Award — sponsored by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and The Wall Street Journal — for expediting the travel process and enhancing convenience and efficiency. National has been the “Official Car Rental Company of the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour” since 1994, and its partnership with the PGA TOUR extends through 2011.
On August 27, 1947, a group of 24 independent car rental operators with 800 vehicles and 60 locations founded National Car Rental. Thus began a relationship that would see the group become a leader in its field. In 1959, the group incorporated as a for-profit corporation and quickly established an identity as “the best in localized, personal service.”
Over the years, National Car Rental would go on to pioneer many industry features to improve the rental experience for their customers. In 1954, they became the first car rental brand to offer one-way rentals for those wishing to rent cars in one town and leave them in another. In 1966, National Car Rental equipped its regional reservation offices with the “Telemax” computer system, officially becoming the first car rental company to bring computers into daily reservation operations. After airline industry deregulation in 1976, National Car Rental opened its doors to the new wave of leisure travelers when it became the first to offer flat rates to car renters.
As National Car Rental continued to grow and evolve, so too did its identity. One of the earliest companies to initiate corporate account business in the late 1970s, the 1980s and beyond, National Car Rental can be characterized by its commitment to the corporate traveler.
In 1987, National Car Rental introduced the industry’s first, comprehensive frequent-renter program, “Emerald Club”, along with the “Paperless Express Rental Agreement,” which made car rental faster by using information stored in the computer to process the whole transaction in seconds. National Car Rental continued to develop ways to make the car rental process more efficient to time-sensitive business travelers. Innovations such as the “Emerald Aisle,” where members select their own cars and are on their way without filling out any paperwork, allowed members to completely bypass the rental counter.
Later, the “Choice Rental Process” would give all National Car Rental customers the ability to choose their own vehicle. Keeping in tune with the needs of the growing population of small business owners, National Car Rental started “QuickRent” service in 2002, which offered customers, who were not enrolled in Emerald Club, the ability to bypass the counter when they complete their rental transaction online. In 2007, National Car Rental was acquired by the Taylor Family of St. Louis, which today also owns and operates Enterprise Holdings.
St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings owns and operates the National Car Rental brand in North America. With annual revenues of $15.4 billion and more than 74,000 employees, Enterprise Holdings also operates, through its regional subsidiaries, more than 1 million cars and trucks, making it the largest and most comprehensive car rental service provider in the world measured by revenue, employees and fleet.
For more information about Enterprise Holdings' environmental stewardship and long-term commitment to the sustainability of the car rental business, visit www.enterpriseholdings.com/sustainability.