Car Rental Website Development Tips: All You Need to Know
Have you ever found yourself trying to get a car over the phone with all lines busy, or maybe in a noisy place, where it’s difficult to speak, or vice versa, somewhere you have to be quiet. A tricky task at times, do you agree?
Modern life is busy and dynamic. No wonder people lay their hands on anything that can make things quicker and easier. Car rental software development significantly simplifies the entire process of booking a car. It also allows car rental companies to become more competitive.
Sixt in Germany or Hertz in the USA, for instance, have been around for over 100 years offering cars in rental centers. They later proceeded to taking bookings by phone. After their customers received the opportunity to book cars online, the websites of these companies became the major source for finding info on vehicle availability and rental price.
However, having a site is halfway. Car booking system development is what really in demand today. Why do we state this? Let’s see in more detail.
What Problems Car Booking Software Can Solve?
Car rental reservation software development is in demand among the startups and existing transport companies, which offer autos for rent and deal with multiple orders.
On the one hand, car rent is a comfortable option for those, who
- Want a certain level of а mobility and comfort while traveling,
- Wish to try a particular vehicle before purchase,
- Needs a car for a certain period, but does not have the desire or opportunity to buy it.
On the other hand, if you work with people, you know how changeable their plans may be.
So to manage all the reservations, effectively deal with booking alterations, cancelations, especially if they are done last minute, possible staff shuffling and car availability, consider creating an online booking system for car rentals. Tailor it appropriate and effective for your business niche.
The advantages of an online booking system bears for car renting businesses may be the following:
- Customers’ self-service,
- Immediate updates of the fleet availability,
- Avoiding risks of overbooking and the factor of human error,
- Automatic resource management,
- Fast business insights and overview,
- Cash flow management,
- Receiving multifaceted up-to-date reports,
- Reduced costs.
Developing an online car rental reservation system is a complex task, and the first step is developing an online platform with a proper backend. Let’s dive in.
Car Rental System: What Is Inside?
When Interface users come to the website to rent a car, they only see the tip of the iceberg. Company employees also have access to order management system, pricing, planning, booking stats and reporting tools. Below you can see an example of how complex it can get. This image demonstrates service structure we have created for our client MeinFernbus:
The first step in car rental website development is planning database and service structure as well as putting together user scenarios that describe how the website could be used. After completing this step, you can proceed to API design and development.
Why do you need API? Without API scaling and mobile apps, development for various platforms would become time-consuming and pricey.
Developing an online car rental reservation system does not mean creating an online platform only. Mobile apps are nowadays inevitable to make your system effective and convenient for clients.
If to talk about technologies used in car rental web development, we would recommend you to choose MySQL or MongoDB databases and Symfony PHP framework for back-end development. The latter is used by MeinFernbus, BlaBlaCar, GoGoBus, as well as other large websites.
Car rental websites need to be ready for high-load periods, such as holiday and vacation seasons or big public events, when the number of people who need to rent a car drastically increases. It is important to choose a hosting provider that is ready for this kind of traffic growth.
As for car rental web design, it should stay neat with main focus being put UI simplicity and effective usage of corporate identity.
How to Build a Car Rental Website?
Website structure is developed according the service specialization. First, a list of the necessary sections with all the features is put together. For visualizing it you can use various mind-mapping tools. If to compare Hertz, Sixt and Avis car booking websites, they all contain sections with the following information:
- Terms of services.
- Loyalty program and discount conditions.
- Info on cars and maintenance centers.
- Company info and mission.
- Contact information for getting in touch with their support team.
- Member area with order details available after registration.
Car rental web developers put the most important element — car availability and booking form — on the main page of the website.
To receive data on car availability users don’t even need to fill in lengthy registration forms or log in. This information is available even to unregistered users who specified date and location for car-pick-up and return:
Usually a step-by-step car booking form is used. It has several fields and blocks available on each step:
If to put all the info above on a single page it would be very difficult for a user to digest it. That’s why car rental web developers divide it into 3-4 separate pages.
Necessary Features for Car Reservation System
When you create a car reservation system, it should be as simple and laconic as it only possible, as all modern services.
The users should not face any difficulties or inconveniences while using your software solution. At the same time, the product has to be functional and informative enough to meet the users’ needs, operate smoothly, provide all the necessary information quickly, and help clients solve their problem without effort in the shortest possible time.
Do you remember?—Life is dynamic!
Developing mobile apps for your car reservation system take care to make the key elements simple and intuitive. The user should be able to check car availability and fill the booking form right away.
It’s essential to notify your clients about special offers and loyalty program options on the first screen already so that the customer gets engaged from the first minutes.
Make checkout simple and comfortable and offer your users as many payment options as you can integrate.
Ensure your contact details and support chat are easy-to-find and deal with.
Keeping all the above-mentioned features in balance will make booking software for car rental business an effective instrument that will turn your potential leads into new clients with great ROI.
Examples of the Online Booking System for Car Rentals
The modern market of online booking systems for car rentals is rather active and highly competitive.
To name just a few, we’ll mention HQ Rental Software, RentSyst, and Easy Rent Pro. These 3 solutions top the market in 2020.
HQ Rental Software
HQ is a system, which offers you a web-based user-friendly reservation plugin, to install on your site and automate the car rental process, applications for iOS and Android for your clients, and a portal for third-party sales agents. The system allows managing fleet, rates, maintenance, and add-ons.
This consumer service tool provides real-time vehicle availability and allows payments and reservations online. The product not only has an easy-to-use management configuration but allows integrations with over 25 third party services. All these features combined allow car rental businesses to enhance their efficiency and step up to the next level.
Developing an online car rental reservation system, this company managed to combine a state-of-art cloud CRM, VOS online tracking system for vehicles, and built-in task manager. This software solution is quick to configure and integrate with multiple third-party services, accounting, financial, e-mail, etc. The tool allows full fleet control, proper planning, and timely business management. The service is rich in functionality and makes different processes automation quick and easy.
The system is beneficial to modern entrepreneurs, who want to have their business in a smartphone. Detailed reports, analytics, statistics, electronic documentation can be accessed from a smartphone thanks to RentSyst.
This system with advanced features was initially created for medium and small car rentals to simplify the process of booking and fleet management. So the solution is quite affordable. Now it operates well to extensive multilocation business because it’s multilingual and supports unlimited locations and vehicles. Integrated with QuickBooks, it allows smooth rate and fine management along with usual billing and invoicing functions. EasyRentPro provides businesses with the opportunity to increase their profitability quickly and at a reasonable cost.
Custom Car Rental Software Development
The out-of-the-box solutions may be as good as gold, but they offer their clients all the same functionality. Such software products can be configured, however, you cannot change them or add something new. At times, you even have to pay for the unnecessary features never used in your business.
We realize that business differentiation is vital nowadays. Every company has its peculiarities and tricks to engage clients. You can offer your customers a novel revolutionary way to solve their problem, additional features set, or unique loyalty program, whatever. To implement all these, create a car reservation system customized specifically to your business model.
It will allow you to tailor an exclusive software solution, which can be later optimized, scaled, or modified according to the growth and development of your business.
For over a decade, Stfalcon has been developing custom software solutions for its clients. We designed a complex system of ticket selling and passenger transportation management for Meinfernbus.de in cooperation with their development team. The company later merged with Flixbus, which is now Europe's largest long-distance bus network.
The project of this car booking system development included a web project creation and mobile applications design. The overall system comprises 3 fundamental components: the sales site (front-end), company management system (back-end), and API. Portal of agencies and partners is set in separate services.
Besides, the Stfalcon team has designed and created the front-end of the renovated user personal account for Nova Poshta, one of the biggest European transportation companies.
Cost of Car Rental Reservation Software Development
Earlier, we shared info on how much it would cost to develop an app like Uber and today we’d like to share approximate costs of the website development for car hire:
The MVP of a car booking system development starts from $80000.
Naturally, these are approximate numbers and the total price for a final project will vary depending on your needs and preferences.
Now as you know the main peculiarities, structure, and features of the auto reservation software solutions, you can start creating an online booking system for car rentals to match your specific business needs.
Stfalcon.com has experience in developing solutions for transportation companies and we’d love to work on a project for your startup or established business. Tell us more about what you need and let’s create something amazing together!