Stability, Strength and Integrity

Merchants Fleet History

Traditional values, professionally refined. The History of Merchants Fleet.

Since our inception in 1962, Merchants Fleet has had one simple goal: To deliver the very best in product and customer service to our clients. While times have changed, our position in developing forward-thinking concepts into actionable results remains constant. We’re proud to have grown from a single automotive dealership in Southern New Hampshire into a nationwide fleet management company, all while maintaining our dedication to flexibility and the promise of “best in class and built to last” service.

  • 1962

    1962 - Merchants Motors Founded

    Irving Singer founded Merchants with the goal of starting a used automotive dealership in Southern New Hampshire. Impressed with the service he received from Merchants Bank, Irving borrowed not only cash but the bank’s name too. In 1962 “Merchants Motors” opened with 50 used cars and a philosophy based on customer service and philanthropy.

  • 1964
    old cars

    1964 - Merchants Opens National Car Rental Franchise

    To build upon its high levels of customer satisfaction, Merchants proudly opened its first rental car location, which was aligned with the National Car Rental brand. Combined with the success of the auto dealership and service department, Merchants quickly became synonymous with dependability, fairness, and honesty.

  • 1967
    Red Car

    1967 - Merchants Opens Fleet Leasing Business

    From the beginning, Mr. Singer realized he was offering much more than just cars for sale. He was also offering automotive services and rentals, which led Merchants into the fleet leasing business in 1967. When Irving Singer retired, his sons Stephen, Robert, Alan, Jeffrey, Gary, and son-in-law Michael Sydney took over the business and continued to grow it based on their father’s full-service philosophy.

  • 1972
    Merchants Auto

    1972 - Hooksett Becomes Flagship Location

    With business booming, Mr. Singer sought a new location that could properly support the needs of his customers well into the future. He decided to move the business to a lot in Hooksett, which after numerous renovations and improvements, still serves as corporate headquarters today.

  • 1977
    1977 Merchants Rent-a-Car

    1977 - Merchants Rent-A-Car Expansion Begins with Salem, NH Location

    Always looking for ways to enhance the customer experience, Merchants Rent-A-Car expanded its operations and opened a satellite location in Salem, New Hampshire. Other locations soon followed, and at its operational peak, the company owned and managed 17 locations throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

  • 1983
    Rental Vans

    1983 - Merchants Rent-A-Car Restructures and Becomes Nation’s Largest Non-Affiliated Rental Company

    Merchants Rent-A-Car moved forward as an independent agency and, in doing so, became the largest non-affiliated rental car company in the United States.

  • 1991
    Irving Singer Family

    1991 - Irving Singer Passes Away

    It was with profound sadness that our founder, Mr. Irving Singer, passed away. While his physical presence left, his dedication to the local community and employees, as well as his drive towards excellence in all facets of life, lives on through his family.

  • 1992
    Secret Service

    1992 - US Secret Service uses Merchants Cars for Presidential Primary Elections

    As prospective political candidates hit the campaign trail, New Hampshire has traditionally been the center of national attention for its primary. Working hand-in-hand with party leaders and organizers, commencing in 1992 and continuing on today, Merchants forged its first relationships to deliver and meet the vehicle needs of staff members, government officials, and Presidential candidates.

  • 1998
    Singer Family

    1998 - Singer Family Receives the American Cancer Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award

    The Singer family was selected for the organization’s esteemed Lifetime Achievement Award because of their support of the American Cancer Society’s efforts to save lives and for their leadership in local community-based programs and fundraising events.

  • 2000
    Salvation Army

    2000 - Gary Singer Wins Salvation Army William Booth Award

    The William Booth Award is one of the highest honors that may be conferred upon an individual by The Salvation Army. Gary Singer was selected for this prestigious award for his outstanding humanitarian efforts to the community through donations of time, expertise, and financial resources. It was the first time a father and son both received the award; Irving Singer had also received the award previously.

  • 2003
    phil ryan

    2003 - Phil Ryan named as Merchants first CEO

    By bringing in a CEO, the company furthered its strategic initiative to become privately owned and professionally managed. Phil held the CEO position for 9 years.


  • 2004
    Management Team

    2004 - Professional Management Team Hired

    In 2004, a professional management team was hired to bring additional industry talent to the executive team and to accelerate the organization’s growth.

  • 2004
    Teal Van

    2004 - Merchants Leasing Creates Van and Truck Rentals Division

    Following its long-term corporate growth strategy, Merchants Leasing reorganized its rental fleet offering and shifted its sights to the van and truck markets. This transformation allowed the organization to fully support the customized needs of customers by delivering unique fleet solutions created on an individual scale.

  • 2004
    Black Chevy Truck

    2004 - Merchants Leasing Acquires Mirak Leasing

    With an eye towards further expansion in the fleet leasing industry, Merchants acquired the vehicles and lease agreements of Mirak Leasing of Arlington, Massachusetts. The transaction boosted the national presence of the company through immediate growth and increased logistical capabilities.

  • 2007

    2007 - Merchants Leasing Acquires One Fleet Source

    Merchants purchased the business of One Fleet Source, LLC, (OFS) of Overland Park, Kansas, to strengthen its ability to better serve  short-term leasing clients throughout the country. The acquisition of one of the largest and most respected competitors in the rental and short-term leasing business proved ideal in expanding the company’s geographical footprint into the mid-west and western regions of the country.

  • 2011
    ALD Automotive

    2011 - Merchants Leasing Acquires ALD Automotive USA

    In a move which reinforced its leading position in the fleet leasing and fleet management industries, Merchants Leasing acquired the North American arm of ALD Automotive, one of the largest fleet providers in Europe. As a result of this transaction, Merchants took ownership of ALD’s U.S. customer base of about 3,300 vehicles.

  • 2011
    Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year

    2011 - Robert and Gary Singer Named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2011 New England Award Semifinalists

    Senior Vice President and Principal Owner, Robert Singer, and Chairman of the Board and Principal Owner, Gary Singer, were named as semi-finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. They were selected from nearly 60 nominations by a panel of independent judges. The program recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

  • 2012
    Robert Singer

    2012 - Merchants Leasing Announces Robert Singer as President

    To continue the organization’s best-in-class excellence and commitment to employees and clients, Merchants Leasing proudly selected Robert Singer to fill the role of President, which was vacant after the retirement of Stephen Singer. Throughout his career, Robert’s vision and drive have played a major role in the aggressive and profitable growth of Merchants Fleet, and his contributions have proven successful in broadening the reach of the company.

  • 2013
    Merchants Fleet Management

    2013 - Merchants Leasing Launches New Brand and Website

    Merchants Leasing changes it name to Merchants Fleet Management to better reflect the full suite of leasing and service offerings it has for its clients.

  • 2014

    2014 - Merchants Fleet Management Receives 2013 Key Supplier Award from Bechtel Corporation

    Merchants Fleet Management was recognized as a Key Supplier by the Bechtel Corporation for its valuable contributions to Bechtel’s power projects. Nominees were chosen by Bechtel’s procurement and contract managers, and winners were chosen by senior leaders. Qualifications for this achievement included overall performance, delivering quality equipment on time, working collaboratively to meet milestones, and meeting or exceeding project expectations of safety, construction performance, technical expertise, and environmental compliance.

  • 2014
    Elev8 Rosemont Illinois

    2014 - Merchants Fleet Management Celebrates Chicago Office Grand Opening

    To accommodate Merchants Fleet Management’s continued success and rapid growth in the information technology and sales divisions, a brand new, state-of-the-art facility was opened on June 20, 2014. The new location reinforces the company’s continued commitment in serving current and prospective customers, expands upon its technological center of excellence, and allows the organization to attract and retain top talent in the fleet management industry.

  • 2014

    2014 - Merchants Fleet Management Takes TotalView of Fleet Operations

    In order to deliver unparalleled personalized service in the digital age, Merchants Fleet Management proudly launched TotalView. This analytics-driven fleet management solution became a standard part of the company’s service package and enabled fleets to strategically make data-based decisions aligned with their specific operational and business goals.

  • 2015
    Alamo Leasing Company

    2015 - Merchants Fleet Management Forms Strategic Alliance with Alamo Leasing

    Merchants Fleet Management announced a strategic alliance with Texas-based Alamo Leasing, the latest in a series of partnerships and acquisitions aimed at bolstering the company’s strategic plan for controlled growth. The move further advanced the expansive growth strategy of the organization and firmly entrenched Merchants among the nation’s top 10 fleet lessors.

  • 2015
    Best Company Award 2018

    2015 - Merchants Fleet Management Named Best Company to Work For

    Merchants Fleet Management was chosen as a 2015 Best Company to Work For Award winner by Business NH Magazine. This distinction recognizes businesses that go out of their way to develop a respectful, creative, and supportive corporate culture that supports a highly engaged workplace.

    The company is proud to have been named a recipient of this distinguished award in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

  • 2015
    kids in camp van

    2015 - Merchants Fleet Management Acquires Summer Camp Portfolio

    With a focus on the growth of the Short-Term Solutions division, Merchants Fleet Management purchased the summer camp business of an automotive rental company. This acquisition enhanced the company’s stance as the nationwide preeminent supplier of customized short-term leasing programs.

  • 2016
    Great Place to Work Award

    2016 - Merchants Fleet Management Certified as a Great Place to Work

    Merchants Fleet Management was certified as a great workplace by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work®. The organization is very proud of receiving this distinction because it is presented to companies based on results of an anonymous employee survey containing questions about overall satisfaction of their work environment, benefit reviews, management, community relations, and much more.

    Merchants is honored to have been named a recipient of this prestigious award in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

  • 2017
    Diana Holland

    2017 - Merchants Fleet Management Adds Sales Region

    With its sights set on furthering its growth model, Merchants Fleet Management established a new sales region covering the northeast portion of the U.S. and promoted several associates to support the initiative. Working in conjunction with the western and eastern sales teams, this third division expanded the organization’s national presence and boosted existing customer service levels through improved support capabilities. It was another step in the company’s efforts to continually expand its scope and nationwide footprint.

  • 2017
    Rising Stars Cool Company Award

    2017 - Merchants Fleet Management Wins “Cool Company for Young Professionals”

    Merchants Fleet Management won the “Cool Company for Young Professionals” award at the 2017 Rising Stars Awards. The organization Stay, Work, Play developed this award to honor companies in New Hampshire that create environments to attract, develop, and retain young workers.

  • 2017
    Brendan P. Keegan

    2017 - Brendan P. Keegan Named CEO

    Merchants Fleet is committed to seeking dynamic leaders that embody the Merchants Fleet spirit. In 2017, the organization hired Brendan P. Keegan as its Chief Executive Officer. As an award-winning executive, Keegan’s understanding of fleet management and the company’s mission position him and Merchants Fleet for remarkable success and growth in the months and years ahead.

  • 2018
    50000 vehicles

    2018 - Merchants Fleet Management Eclipses 50,000 Managed Units

    Building upon an expansive growth strategy and incorporating key corporate initiatives, Merchants Fleet surpassed the 50,000 managed units milestone. Over the past 5 years, the company has expanded its portfolio by 46% and is now another step closer to achieving its goal of doubling the size of the company by 2023.