Car booking companies like Sixt (Germany) or Hertz (USA) that has been around for more than 100 years had started their business by offering cars in rental centers and later proceeded to taking bookings by phone. Today their clients can book cars online that has significantly simplified the whole process. Judging from the not so high Google Play rank, their apps can’t currently compete with Uber or Zipcar, that’s why websites of these car booking companies remain the main source for finding info on vehicle availability and rental price.
Car rental website: what’s inside
Interface users see when they come to the website to rent a car is only 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 developing website for car hire 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 designing and developing API. Why do you need API? Without API scaling and mobile apps development for various platforms would become time-consuming and pricey.
If to talk about technologies used in car rental web development, we would recommend you to choose MySQL or MongoDB databases and Symfony2 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.
Car booking web site structure
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.
Car booking web development price
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:
Web design — from $5000.
Development (frontend, backend and API) — from $45000.
Naturally, these are approximate numbers and the total price for a final project will vary depending on your needs and preferences.
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!