Europcar adds Goldcar to its low-cost leisure line-up

The traditional car hire sector is under pressure from new models of car usage and ownership, but there is still life in the old dog yet.

Paris-listed Europcar Group has announced a €550 million deal to acquire Goldcar, which Europcar says is the largest low-cost car rental operator in Europe.

Goldcar will  boost Europcar’s footprint in three key areas of operation:  geographically, it is dominant in the Mediterranean region, has a strong presence in the leisure sector, notably Spain and Portugal, while its low-cost, tech-focused approach will  feed into Europcar’s overall platform.

It is the latest in a run of deals – recently it bought out its franchisees in Ireland and Denmark and took over Germany’s Buchbinder.

The leisure footprint of Goldcar will come in useful for Europcar, which has been easyJet’s exclusive  car rental partner since 2003 and signed a two year extension to the current deal a few weeks ago.

It said that the number of easyJet passengers taking advantage of the arrangement has increased by 36% over the past five years.

Europcar  is on track to meet the target it set in 2016 of getting to €3 billion revenues and an adjusted corporate EBITDA margin of 14% by 2020. These numbers however exclude the impact of its “mobility services division” which covers everything other than the established car hire unit.

This part of the business includes its Lab innovation hub, which earlier this month took a 20% stake in Snappcar, a peer-to-peer car sharing service which operates in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden,

The lab also owns stakes in Ubeeqo and Wanderio.

Related reading from Tnooz:

Europcar buys some ingenuity and audacity via Ubeeqo deal (Jan15)
Car rental firm buys stake in Wanderio (May16)

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