Originally Andover Self Drive started life as a franchised branch of Kennings Car and Van Rental in 1989. John Ford managed the modest fleet of 15 vehicles, operating from a single site near the Andover railway station. John was already well known and respected within the local community and had been in business in Andover for many years, starting as the owner and manager of the Bere Hill House Hotel, now known as the Quality Hotel.
Within a few years Kennings had outgrown its original site and new premises were required. In the early 1990’s, John purchased premises on the Mayfield Avenue Industrial Estate in Weyhill in order to meet the ever increasing demand for hire vehicles from local people and local companies. At the time of moving to Mayfield Avenue Industrial Estate the fleet was operating at just over 50 vehicles but this was just the start.
The new premises allowed for further expansion and the customer based increased to include the surrounding areas of Andover including Basingstoke, Salisbury, Newbury, Winchester, Amesbury and most of the local Army barracks. Over the next few years the fleet grew to over 250 vehicles and its customer base included most of the companies and residents of Andover and beyond.
In 1996, the Kennings branch ceased trading but from its foundations emerged Andover Self Drive, a local independent vehicle hire company lead by John Ford and dedicated to continue in the foot steps of Kennings by serving the local community. The customer base that was developed by John as part of Kennings was retained when Andover Self Drive began; again starting from modest beginnings but soon growing to well over 100 vehicles and becoming the company of choice for vehicle hire in Andover. Andover Self Drive also joined United Rental Systems and has now been a licensee for over 10 years. All United Rental Licensees have been carefully selected to represent United Rental System and all satisfy rigorous quality standards regarding their vehicles and service delivery to customers.
In 2011, John Ford decided to head back to his business roots of hospitality and purchased the White Horse Inn in Thruxton. In order to concentrate on this new project, John retired from Andover Self Drive with the company reins being handed over to his daughter Elle and his son-in-law, Ben. Keen to follow in John’s footsteps, Elle and Ben have some big plans for the future of Andover Self Drive and hope to build on the success created by John.