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Car Rental Website: Timeline, Core Functionality, Cost

Codica
A team of web developers building custom marketplaces, SaaS and PWAs with Ruby on Rails, React, Vue.js. Our Github: https://github.com/codica2
Originally published at codica.com ・5 min read

The article was initially published on Codica Blog

Many of us jump online to find products and services. Renting a car via the Internet comes as no surprise either. That is how entrepreneurs found a new way for online booking system usage.

People like to take little detours while traveling. With users increasingly choosing a self-drive trip, car reservation systems have become extremely popular.

So today, we will address the core aspects of car rental website development. Read on, as we have prepared tips on making such a website successful and profitable.

Сar rental website: definitions, market size, players

Put it shortly, a car rental system lets you rent cars for a limited time at a specific cost. Some companies also offer insurance policies and car damage services.

Online car booking will come in handy for people looking for:

  • Сomfort and mobility during a self-drive trip.
  • A test drive before purchasing a particular vehicle.
  • A car for a limited period of time without a need to buy one.

Newest findings

The reports show encouraging results despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The car rental market will reach $131 billion by 2026, according to Mordor Intelligence. The cost-effectiveness of car rental reservations was given as the main reason.

There’s more to come. With more people easily staying online "on the go," car rental websites gained a huge amount of traffic. Also, such platforms started to provide e-sign contracts.

Key players

Let’s bring top 5 online rental system providers:

  • Europcar;
  • Sixt;
  • AutoRentals.com;
  • Localiza;
  • Rentalcar.com.

Since 2019, North America has been on top of the car rental industry. And there are no reasons things will change anytime soon.

How to create a car rental website

Add high-quality vehicle photos

Photos are what a car rental website needs to be filled with. Keep your imagery out of unrealistic editorial tools. Customers won't tolerate anything that seems to trip them up.
For example, Sixt displays various high-quality images of cars available:

Alt Text

Establish credibility

If there's a nontrivial story behind your car reservation system, spill it! Telling customers about milestones that mark your business growth shows your openness.
Show testimonials from satisfied customers and impress everyone with the results you achieved. Rentalcars.com is an example of an online booking system using exact figures to build trust:

Alt Text

Specify the services you offer

Make it clear for everyone to know what services your car rental website has to offer. If many, divide them into two: primary and secondary. Put a brief description for each proposition.

Give clear instructions

You're not immune from a user having trouble. That’s where the tutorial scheme helps. Make it catching with intuitive web elements like icons. Additionally, consider creating a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section.

Research the market to create new opportunities

At times, attracting users to an online rental system might seem a bit difficult. Since dozens of car booking websites offer identical services, come up with a new one.

Choose the right business model

  • Commission;
  • Advertising;
  • Additional services;
  • Subscription;
  • Paid listings.

Define the core functionality

Car booking system

Enable sign-in to a car rental website via socials to streamline a registry.

Keep a booking form simple. Let users specify the basics like the ride's destination, duration, time, and date. When it comes to specific needs an advanced search system is totally a must-have.

Flexible packages and plans

Create separate plans:

  • One-way trips,
  • Local;
  • Long-distance journeys.

Having such options lets people select the most convenient one. During the holidays, you can customize fare plans within a loyalty program.

Mobile-first approach

A number of travelers will be using your car rental reservation services via mobile devices. Make sure your car rental website fits different screen sizes and resolutions.

To make the user experience more solid and integrated with native hardware, consider creating a progressive web app.

Reviews and ratings

Showing customers’ reviews increases the conversion rate. Real-user feedback of your car rental system will encourage visitors to stay on it instead of searching for further options.

Fleet management

Prevent auto theft by receiving real-time geodata about the car's location.

Show users the currency status of the vehicle presented in your online booking system. Let them see whether a car is available, rented, or under repair. Extra data may include the total number of vehicles, their models, insurance expiration dates.

See how it is implemented on the car rental website Sixt:

Alt Text

There are few other features you need to take care of:

  • Payment gateways;
  • Reporting system;
  • Content management system;
  • Booking system;
  • Document scanner;
  • Communication channels;
  • Geolocation.

Rental website development: the price tag

There are two main factors that have a direct impact on the development costs:

  • The approach: ready-made solution vs. software built from scratch;
  • The functionality you want to implement.

You can search dozens of SaaS solutions allowing you to roll out a car reservation system in a matter of days. Those products are cost-effective and normally include third-party services integration.

Partnership with a custom software company is a more costly choice. At the same time, it provides benefits to profit for the years ahead. You will have the features tailored for your specific needs. Not to mention higher data protection, no hidden costs, or license fees.

Overall expenses vary on the developers’ track record, company’s location, project complexity, and more.

If you turn to a development team based in Eastern Europe, you see an average hourly rate of $45/hour. In that case, the price of building a car rental system starts at $46,530 if you want to implement the functionality we have discussed.

Conclusion

We have crunched key aspects you should notice while creating a car rental website. With tips provided, you will outsmart your competitors and hike to the top of the industry.

Since you have a glimpse to build a car reservation system, feel free to contact us. With our help, you will get a car rental website that users will love.

Would you like to know more about car booking system development? Check out our full article: How to Create a Car Rental Website: All You Need to Know.

Discussion (1)

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spotandrew2021 profile image
SpotAndrew2021 • Edited

Renting a car is sometimes a necessary option in cases where you do not have your own transport. I prefer to have my own car because I need constant access to work or the store. The location of my house may be more convenient. That's why I need to have my own car and not rent one, as it's the most cost-effective option.
If I drive my own car, I have to have an insurance policy from moneyexpert.com/car-insurance/hour....