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Meet the Franchisor: Patrick Dyer of Practicar

crop1By Peter Saunders
When Patrick Dyer joined Practicar Systems at the end of 2007, the company was at a crossroads in its development. It had long supported the Rent-A-Wreck car rental, leasing and sales business, which began in 1976 in Prince George, B.C., moved into franchising in 1978 and grew into a cross-Canada chain. Three decades later, although the brand—unaffiliated with the U.S. business of the same name—was broadly known and well-liked by many customers, the humorous ‘wreck’ reference in its name was beginning to stifle further growth.

“I was called upon for franchise development, which led to a rebranding,” says Dyer. “We wanted to bring in more types of franchisees, including new-car dealers and repair-shop owners, who understandably wouldn’t want the ‘Rent-A-Wreck’ name attached to their business.”

In addition to attracting new franchisees, Dyer and his colleagues saw a need to add newer cars to the franchises’ fleets and to encourage connections with younger customers, particularly cost-conscious students between 21 and 24 years old.

“I was already looking at why development was stagnating,” he explains, “and this led to looking at marketplaces we were missing out on.”

A multiple-purpose approach
By this point, Practicar had been acquired as a wholly owned subsidiary of Franchise Services of North America (FSNA). This corporate umbrella also encompassed the U-Save Car & Truck Rental, Xpress Rent A Car, Peakstone Financial Services, Auto Rental Resource Center (ARRC) and U-Save Car Sales brands, along with Rent-A-Wreck of Canada.

canmore pic“After the takeover in 2007, we re-evaluated our system and consulted with our franchise advisory council (FAC) in 2008,” Dyer says. “I had provided consulting on sales, development and franchising in earlier years, but this was a new challenge, with multiple purposes.”

Perhaps ironically, the ‘new’ branding ended up reflecting the company’s roots. The Practicar name, used in a corporate sense since 1976, would finally become familiar to the public.

“Older customers know and continue to rent from our older brand,” says Dyer, “while many other locations are using the same rental model but under the Practicar name. Rent-A-Wreck’s not going away.”

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One comment on “Meet the Franchisor: Patrick Dyer of Practicar”

  1. Hello. I have been searching for the heX office number. I had been in accident last night.i have to the nine coverage. When I went into fernie practicar the lady was rude and swore at me. I am real upset. I was on phone with my insurance agent. Theu were shocked at the unprofessionalism as I was myself. The lady then gave me a old car which stinks bad, has an air conditioner flipping around in trunk.
    The car is half a foot from ground and I am reap sore from accident and I can barely get in or out of it.
    I need a minivan or something. There was one there but she was just being inreal. Then when she knew she was on recording as I was talking to insurance Agent at state farm. She then wanted to hug me etc.
    This is unacceptable as well as very unprofessional.
    I would like this to be looked into az well as fixed please and thank.you.

    Sabrina C
    778 963 0118

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