Made in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 06:00 19 January 2015
Norfolk entrepreneur Rory Sexton was barely out of his teens when he launched a car hire business. Now his success stretches across Europe, as Rowan Mantell explains.
Rory Sexton was just 20 years old when he founded Economy Car Hire from the bedroom of his home in Beetley, near Dereham. Fourteen years later the business is an international success story. For the past two years, it has been voted top car hire broker by consumer experts Which?
A family holiday inspired Rory to launch the business, after his parents had problems hiring a car in Spain. An entrepreneur from childhood, he had already washed cars and run a sandwich board advertising business as a teenager, and attempted to set up a villa rental business. A pupil at Beetley Primary School, Litcham High School and Dereham Sixth Form Centre, he worked for Argos, Lloyds Bank and in IT and graphic design for an American-based business, before setting up Economy Car Hire.
“I had just returned from a three-month work placement in the USA and my mum and dad paid the telephone bill while I got the business off the ground,” says Rory.
Focusing on car hire at holiday airports he was determined his new business would offer simple terms which included excess insurance and a free additional driver.
His first cars were based in Spain and the business soon expanded into Portugal, Cyprus, Italy and Malta.
Before long his mother, Pam, left her job in accountancy to become a shareholder and director, and then his sister, Charlotte, took charge of the reservations and customer relations team.
The business he began from his childhood bedroom now employs around 20 people and takes around 100,000 bookings every year.
“We are honoured to have been recognised by Which?” says Rory, who is managing director of the company he founded in 2000. “This really underlines the hard work
that has been put in over the past 14 years by the whole Economy Car Hire team,”
Rory is proud that 93pc of his customers would recommend their services to friends and family and he hopes to add more destinations to increase bookings still further.
Economy Car Hire, Nelson House, Old Pharmacy Yard, Church Street, Dereham, NR19 1DJ; 0845 4500877; www.economycarhire.com