Our mission is to be the most preferred, popular cheap car rental service provider in Cape Town
In January 2006, my German neighbour approached me, requesting if he could “borrow” my old jumbo golf for a few days. He offered to pay me R100 per day. He returned a few weeks later, inquiring for the “cheapie” ….. I thought mmmmmm..... “Cheapie”. He carried on talking, but I couldn’t hear a word he said. My mind was in “the zone”. All I could hear was the word … Cheapie, Cheapie, Cheapie!
Rentacheapie Car Hire was born in my mind as my friend negotiated the next deal.
I bought three vehicles and my double garage and outside office became the hub of Rent-a-cheapie car hire. What exciting days these were. I loved meeting all my guests from Germany and across the globe! I knew from the beginning, clients want simple procedures, friendly service, reliable cars and most importantly, a ‘cheap’ cost effective car hire alternative. I delivered on all, accept the “reliable cars” part. Often the calls would come from one of our German windsurfers in Witsand or Kommetjie, “de car vont start” with a heavy accent! This is when Oliver Kabongo, a Congolese gentleman, with a real knack for mechanics and fluent in French, joined me. Our Parisian clients love him. Apparently, a Chico Golf in Paris is a rare find, a fashion statement of some sorts. So, with Oliver on board we were now a team. Our business model of simplicity and friendly service offering cost effective reliable vehicles began to gain momentum and our reputation grew exponentially. Thanks to all who supported us and specially to Chris from the “Surf Hostel” who really put us on the map by sending so many of his valued clients to us. Thanks Chris.
With growth comes growing pains and new battles. We groaned and wrestled our way through running up to 50 vehicles from a 36m2 double garage in Bloubergrandt ! My neighbours endured much, without one moan. My Debt to them is a deep hole. They get really good deals from us when in need of a car. The legalities of becoming vat registered, returning vat, paying provisional tax, personal tax, uif, sdl, submitting emp201’s and emp501’s and the list goes on and on was a huge battle.......... I basically had to learn how to become a mini accountant. A very steep learning curve for someone who never understood accountancy at all during schooling years and would scrape through by memorizing formulas! Tracking stolen vehicles in Khayelitsha to abandoned vehicles in Namibia, relocations to Woodstock and then Paarden Eiland all came with pressure, pain and eventually new beginnings. Motto from my parents’ generation is still true: No pain no gain. We are now a well-established business and on the map in Cape Town.
Our greatest accomplishment so far, has been about creating employment for our staff. It has been a privilege for me to work with our team at Rentacheapie, to grow with them and see them grow as people. Their willingness to increase in capacity and advance their skill level has not ceased to amaze me.
Special thanks to Oliver Kabongo, our Workshop Manager and his brother Michael Kabongo, who is our Sales/Clientele Manager. The Kabongo’s have been with Rent-a-cheapie from the beginning. Thanks a million guys.
Fani and Lucky Dita are also brothers and part of the team. Fani administrates our “hundreds, if not thousands” of traffic fines / offences which we receive each year and shuttles our clients around Cape Town. Lucky, who we call Favour, is our Wash Bay King! His work is vitally important in making sure our clients receive a clean and fresh vehicle.
Francis Kasamale is an assistant mechanic to Oliver. Johnny Kabaso is the “handlanger”. Handlangers do everything from bringing parts to the mechanic to cleaning the floors. Other team players are Tim Nel, who has an eye for figures and handles our accounts and keeps a check on Rentacheapie’s cash flow. Victoria Bodley is the systems and administrative specialist. She brings order and sanity to all the chaos. Yolanda Nobula is our housekeeper and makes an increasing contribution to our administrative department with flying colours.
Our business model has not changed much in the last seven years, except for the addition of, “integrity is honourable and more profitable”. We are intending to keep our values of simplicity, friendliness, cost effectiveness, reliability with integrity. These core values will help calibrate, centre us, as we navigate the road into the future. Viva Rentacheapie!
Yours in car hire
Grant William Baker
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