Welcome to Community Rent-A-Car. We are a new locally owned and operated rental car company centered in eastern Los Angeles County focused on serving clients in Laverne, Claremont, Upland, Montclair + Rancho Cucamonga. Currently we maintain our office at Chaffey Auto Body in Montclair, on Arrow Highway between Central Avenue and Benson Avenue to the east.
Who Are We?
My name is John Tarrant. I also own Chaffey Auto Body. I have lived and worked in this local market for 31 years and feel I have a very good intuition of what we, (Locals) expect of goods and services in these foothills communities. For years I have advocated for my body shop clients even at the risk of sometimes isolating myself to the insurance companies. After 25 years in business what we know is our reputation is the most important asset of any company. I am accompanied by my manager and partner Gary Huffmeier, whom has also been serving customers in this market for over 20 years. Some time ago, early in the recession I hired a marketing consultant to help improve business. Of the many things we learned and implemented, he taught me and our employees how to behave with our clients. The better we became at asking the right questions and then fulfilling those expectations ahead of schedule, the more positive feedback and (Buzz) was being created by them on the internet and web review sites. We started to live and die by the amount of stars we would receive from Yelp and Google. We also began to notice that we were referring hundreds of clients to 2 star rental agencies. This was not good. We decided to create a better option for our clients.
To provide the ultimate rental experience to our foothills community clients.
Before starting Community Rent-A-Car, we were referring all of our clients to the major rental agencies and the feedback at times has been horrible. We’re talking almost a thousand clients per year. Insurance companies strongly urge accident customers to the big two rental car providers. These big agencies are beholden to insurance companies and not the local rental client. Our research outside of Chaffey also confirmed the same results. At the very least I needed to be able to offer our clients and community members another option. Here we are today, up and running. Our fleet of 2014 cars and vans are all smart-phone compatible. You will leave here with a clean car that has a full tank of gas, which we link to your phone.
- Out of Town Visitors
- Visiting Business Professionals
- College Students (over 21) Wanting a Weekend Car
- Mechanical Repair Shops Clients
- Locals That Need an Extra Car
- Visiting Professors + Administrators
- Fleet Employers
Why me, why now?
As our collision repair business was struggling to stay busy enough to stay profitable, I determined that catering strictly to insurance companies with little regard for my client’s needs was not a realistic way to grow a family business.
I hired a marketing consultant and soon together we began to reshape the way we interact with our customers. I dismissed the lousy insurance relationships I had and decided to focus on the “repair experience” and also our social reputation. As we corrected what was wrong with our business I noticed that our “star” values were increasing on web reputation sites. “Stars” are intoxicating! The more you get, the more customers check you out, and the more you want. It leads to more business. The only way to get more stars is to perform better for our customer and create more buzz about what we do.
When you’re conscious about your customer’s total repair experience, you can’t send your client someplace where they’re going to have a 2 star car rental experience. I tried to improve it by delivering my clients directly to the agency, but when we got there, there were several folks already waiting in line. I already had a loan car fleet. Why not have rentals too? As I did my research, I quickly determined that local rental customers were getting dirty cars with empty fuel tanks from unfriendly rental agents. You see, there are 2 basic segments in the rental car business. One is ‘Airport’ and the other is ‘Insurance Replacement’. At the airport, we find that service is generally good to very good, but very expensive. Airport taxes and overhead fees add a bundle. Airports are inconvenient and sometimes far away.
In the insurance replacement segment, the big 2 agencies focus on supplying insurance clients replacement cars. Insurance companies command huge discounts from rental companies for their referrals. Today’s local market rental looks more like a neighbor’s loaner. Because of ‘calendar day” invoicing the only way to make money is to re-rent the vehicle the same day it is returned. No time to clean up and re-fuel, or even a quick safety check like the airport does.
After doing the research I was seriously thinking about getting into the business. I located the consultancy I was going to use to teach us the rental business. They were located in South Carolina. I made flight arrangements and tried making auto rental reservations, but the airport price was over $100.00 per day for a small car. I chose to reserve through one of the big “2″ in Charolette, SC. Me and my associate arrived about 20 minutes early that morning to the agency after a grueling red-eye flight. I was scolded for arriving early and was told they had no cars cleaned yet. We waited and noticed 2 cars sitting on the front line, and asked “what about those two”? Ok……which one do you want! Let’s see….Bug or Versa? Let’s take the Versa. Paperwork done, I hop in the car and start it up. Hey Jesse…the tire pressure light is on, what’s up? Go ahead and drive it. I checked it out myself, he said. We drove down the interstate, all of the time the car pulling hard to the right. Wow! I thought to myself. He just rented me a car with a flat tire! I’m a car guy. What if I wasn’t? I would have kept driving and ended up in a ditch somewhere! I pulled off at the next ramp and sure enough we had a flat. I filled it up at the convenience mart and left for our destination.
At that moment, I knew I had to be in the car rental business!