Determined to start her own business with husband James in 2004, but faced with the beginning of the economic downturn and banks unwilling to lend, Angela remortgaged their home, sold the couple’s car, and extended their credit cards.
The garage was turned into an office, and, starting with precisely zero balance and putting to use a passion for red, Affordable Car Hire was launched.
Within a year 10 people were working out of the garage, the utility room was a staff kitchen, and Angela was based in the lounge. Two sons – Harry and Max – later, and it was time for a move to new offices within 18-months of starting the business, which was seeing year-on-year growth.
Affordable Car Hire’s concept has always been simple: outstanding service and value for money at a price people can afford.
The business now boasts a multilingual website displaying more than 500 car rental companies in over 15,000 locations and 192 countries worldwide. According to Angela, ‘it helps make car rental a fun product for the travel community, with outside-the-box thinking that maintains our competitive edge’.
With a sales team, known as ‘Angela’s Angels’, covering the UK and Ireland, Affordable Car Hire is now the UK travel industry market leader, winning many best car rental travel awards since 2008, and recently scooping Best Car Rental Company of Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Not content with success at home, earlier this year the company launched in Australia, New Zealand, UAE, and several European countries. It is set to achieve £20m turnover in 2016.
Angela said: “Over the years I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many amazing people, and I’m extremely grateful to all our clients for supporting ACH. My husband is my rock within the business. We’re yin and yang, and make a great team, and work with some fantastic people at ACH, who love the family-style business we run within a corporate structure.