A car rental, hire car, or car hire agency is a company that rents automobiles for short periods of time, generally ranging from a few hours to a few weeks. It is often organized with numerous local branches (which allow a user to return a vehicle to a different location), and primarily located near airports or busy city areas and often complemented by a website allowing online reservations. Car rental agencies primarily serve people who require a temporary vehicle, for example, those who do not own their own car, travelers who are out of town, or owners of damaged or destroyed vehicles who are awaiting repair or insurance compensation. Car rental agencies may also serve the self-moving industry needs, by renting vans or trucks, and in certain markets, other types of vehicles such as motorcycles or scooters may also be offered. Alongside the basic rental of a vehicle, car rental agencies typically also offer extra products such as insurance, global positioning system (GPS) navigation systems, entertainment systems, mobile phones, portable WiFi and child safety seats. The earliest known example of cars being offered for rent dates to 1906. The German company Sixt was established in 1912 with three cars for rent. Joe Saunders of Omaha, Nebraska first started with only one borrowed Model T Ford in 1916, but by 1917, his Ford Livery Company was renting out 18 Model Ts at 10 cents per mile. The company name became Saunders Drive-It-Yourself System and then Saunders System. By 1926, Saunders had expanded to 56 cities. Saunders' company was bought by Avis in 1955. An early competitor to Saunders was Walter L. Jacobs, whose Chicago-based Rent-a-Car opened in 1918 with twelve Ford Model T.[The company was bought in 1923 by John Hertz. In Britain, car rental started with Godfrey Davis, established in 1920, and bought by Europcar in 1981. The sector expanded rapidly in the US; in 1926, the American Driveurself Association assembled over 1200 delegates in Chicago. The growth in travel after World War II led to the establishment of several well known international companies, including National Car Rental (1947), Europcar (1949), Enterprise Rent-A-Car (1957), Thrifty Rent A Car (1958), and Budget Rent a Car (1958). Business models The Rental Car Center at George Bush Intercontinental Airport Car rental companies operate by purchasing or leasing a number of fleet vehicles and renting them to their customers for a fee. Rental fleets can be structured in several ways – they can be owned outright (these are known as ‘risk vehicles’ because the car rental operator is taking a risk on how much the vehicle will be sold for when it is removed from service), they can be leased, or they can be owned under a guaranteed buy-back program arranged directly through a manufacturer or manufacturer’s financial arm (these are known as ‘repurchase vehicles’ because the manufacturer outlines the exact price of original sale and of repurchase at the end of a defined term). In the UK, the registration of rental cars can be concealed by using unfamiliar initials or subsidiaries, which can increase the resale value via manufacturer or third-party dealers. In North America, it is common to see rental companies with their own branded second-hand car dealers where the ex-rental stock is sold directly to the public. Alternatively, auctions are often used in the United States and with the advent of digital platforms, rental cars have increasingly sold the vehicles directly to new and used car dealers bypassing the auction channels.