Car Rental Portal

11 Killer Features to Enhance Car Rental Portal Development

car rental portal development

Whether it's that special road trip, a business meeting or a lavish wedding, sitting in your favorite car elevates your mood instantly. People have been renting cars since the 1960s. Price is a vital factor, but most people rent cars to enjoy the experience more than anything else. Simplicity, ease of use, cost and features are some of the factors that people consider while looking for the best car rental portal.

After a lull phase during the pandemic, the car rental industry has witnessed a sharp surge in bookings (2022 and beyond). At an expected annual growth rate of 31.3% between 2024 and 2028, the projected volume of the car rental market may reach US$116.00bn (end of 2028). Also, we will have over 0.64 billion users by 2028. Understanding the immense potential of this market, companies must focus seriously on car rental portal development to make their mark and stand out from the crowd.

Gone are the days when the cheapest services bagged the most customers. Besides ease of search, price transparency and availability of options, car rental portals must also concentrate on mobile responsiveness to enhance the customer experience. This blog will focus on the must-have features that car rental companies should include in their portals/apps to build a strong online presence and vast customer base.

Revolutionize Car Rental Portal Development With 11 Compelling Features

The car rental business is highly competitive. It's 2024, and customers may not give you a second chance. Car rental companies must prioritize customer support, loyalty programs, targeted advertising and other strategies to gain a competitive advantage. Below are 10 features that companies must look to include during their car rental portal development process. car rental portal development

1. Online Booking and 24/7 Accessibility

Life moves at a rapid pace these days. People may want to make last-minute bookings for a business meeting in a neighboring city or a weekend getaway. If your car rental business doesn’t offer round-the-clock services, customers will go elsewhere. Giving customers the option to book a car instantly and pay online results in increased sales.

The easier it is for customers to rent a car with your portal, the more repeat business you will get. Moreover, the ease of booking and flexibility reduce the burden on your employees and allow them to focus on other tasks.

2. Simple Search Options

Another crucial feature to consider during car rental portal development is advanced search functionality. A car rental portal must have advanced search functionality to facilitate easy car selection for customers. With filters like car type, color, mileage and price, customers can choose a car that suits their requirements. Customers must be able to view high-resolution images of cars with a detailed description of features.

Also, the portal must save these custom search results to simplify the booking process for repeat customers. The custom search save feature eliminates the need for customers to enter the details manually, speeding up the process.

3. Mobile Optimization

The number of global car rental users is expected to reach 644.4 million by 2028. Most of these users prefer to use a mobile app to rent cars. App usage accounts for 88% of the time spent on mobile devices. A car rental company without an app in 2024 will lose out on millions of dollars in business. Renting cars using apps gives customers much-needed convenience. You can’t expect customers to log on to a browser, sign up, enter their credentials, and rent a car.

Mobile car rental apps allow customers to rent a car on short notice, compare multiple options, and pay online to complete the process. Apart from 24/7 access, mobile car rental apps can also leverage GPS capabilities to find the nearest car rental service provider. In this way, mobile car rental apps reduce the formalities and result in increased sales.

4. Flexible Plans and Policies

During car rental portal development, companies must consider providing flexible plans for customers. Flexibility is not limited to car choices and pricing options. For instance, a businessperson may want to drive to the nearest state, drop off his car, and later catch a flight to some other place. Similarly, a family on vacation may want a car that allows pets or has child safety options.

Other areas that require flexibility include cancellation policies and return durations. Life is unpredictable, and it may not always go as planned. Events like accidents, illnesses, and family emergencies may disrupt plans. Car rental companies must empathize with customers and be more mindful of their needs. It makes sense to have a basic rental plan with a cancellation fee, while offering high-end customers the option to cancel or amend their plans at no extra cost.

Deducting a hefty sum as a cancellation fee without considering the circumstances may result in customer dissatisfaction and a bitter social media review. Allowing an hour of grace period for returning the car won’t hurt. Rather, it will encourage customers to rent a car in the future.

5. Real-time Updates

Time is precious. Suppose a customer rents a certain car online and finds out about its unavailability at the pickup location. He will be hugely disappointed. Despite receiving the full refund, he may not deal with the company again. Car rental companies can eliminate this problem through GPS tracking and API integration. They can also integrate the mobile app with the rental booking software at the premises to avoid unpleasant surprises.

If the car rental portal clearly shows the number of available vehicles, customers can get more clarity and book their ride accordingly. Such transparency fosters trust and loyalty.

6. Expense Tracking Mechanism

Including the vehicle expense tracking feature is a must while developing a car rental portal. Not all customers are the same. Some may drive rashly, while others are gentle. Either way, cars will incur maintenance costs. Keeping track of fuel costs becomes simpler with GPS tracking as it monitors the customer journey from start to finish. Fuel sensors can shed light on available fuel and alert users if it dips below a certain threshold.

Additionally, engine oil changes and car service become necessary after the vehicle travels a certain distance. Tools like fleet management software (FMS) can play a vital role in monitoring vehicle use, signs of wear and tear, and scheduling periodic maintenance. FMS is just an example. Besides FMS, car rental companies can choose from various tools, including telematics, diagnostic tools, CRM, garage management, and other software, to schedule predictive maintenance and optimize fleet utilization.

7. Loyalty Programs

Apart from flexibility and good service, customers may require extra incentives to come back. Companies must include this feature in their arsenal during car rental portal development. It is crucial to create a reward points system for customers based on factors such as the number of times they rented cars, rental duration, car type, and overall handling.

As a part of loyalty programs, customers can get silver, gold, platinum, and bronze cars (depending on their transaction history). The benefits of these cars can include advance booking, extended grace periods, seasonal discounts, and free upgrades to premium cars. These benefits can motivate customers to continue their association with the car rental company and refer the services to others in their social circles.

8. Robust Analytics and Statistics

Car rental portals and mobile apps generate enormous amounts of data. Fleet management software, BI dashboards, CRM analytics, and market analysis tools have analytics capabilities that help companies make informed decisions. For example, BI dashboards provide information related to revenue, most preferred cars, and customer demographics in comprehensible formats. Car rental companies can use this information to create personalized marketing campaigns and loyalty programs.

CRM integration with booking information helps car rental companies identify areas for improvement, analyze customer feedback, and understand their needs. Depending on the size of operations, goals, budget, customer base, geographical location, and other factors, car rental companies may use multiple tools to improve efficiency and ensure an improved customer experience.

9. Push Notifications

Push notification features should be a point of consideration during the car rental portal development process. All customers want good deals. Based on their experience and earlier interactions, car rental companies can target them with promotional messages via text messages and push notifications. Also, these push notifications can inform customers about successful bookings, cancellations, and refund transactions.

Thanks to these messages and notifications, customers will refrain from calling your customer care number for information. With regular updates and notifications, their minds will be at ease. Lastly, push notifications can also send reminders to customers about the end of their trip and the date and time to return the cars. Overall, push notifications and text messages ensure improved customer satisfaction and greater efficiency.

10. Continuous Customer Support

Life is full of uncertainties, including traveling. Suppose a customer’s car breaks down in the middle of a highway. Without any help in sight or a lack of local contacts, he may be stranded there for a long time. A car rental company with responsive customer support can respond to a customer’s distress call and arrange for help. They can communicate with a local towing company and take it to an automobile repair shop.

It is best to offer different kinds of assistance, like live chats, and video calls. Other types of customer support and assistance include AI chatbots. These chatbots can assist customers outside of work hours. Overall, timely support can solve problems and earn customer trust.

11. Automatic Upgrades

Technology is evolving constantly. Although many companies may have to invest heavily in technology to meet customer needs or stay competitive, an upgrade installation may do the trick for most. Companies must include automatic upgrades and updates in their car rental portal development strategy.

Although it may take some time to run these upgrades, the results are worth the effort. Along with increased online protection and security, regular upgrades and updates can greatly improve efficiency and productivity. Companies can reduce downtime by running the updates on the main server, thereby extending the benefits to individual systems, applications, and tools.

Car rental platforms and apps hold valuable customer data that can fall prey to hackers. Automatic upgrades can address potential threats and protect sensitive data.

6 Car Rental Portal Development Challenges for Companies

In the above section, we discussed some of the features that companies should consider for car rental portal development. However, this process comes with its fair share of challenges. Some challenges are as follows. car rental app development  

1. Cost

Car rental portal development costs may vary depending on the complexity of the app, the number of features, the resources required, and other factors. The cost may be high for small and medium-sized enterprises.

2. Complex Orders

Managing complex orders with multiple add-ons, discounts, and loyalty programs can be challenging. Human intervention may be necessary at times.

3. Multiple Device/Systems Integration

Integrating the car rental portal with various software, and systems like GPS, payment gateways, FMS systems, CRM systems, and internal booking mechanisms can be complex.

4. Data Security

Car rental platforms and apps hold customer histories and payment details. It is vital to implement strong security measures to protect and store this information.

5. Scalability Issues

As your business grows, you may need a faster and more efficient system to handle a greater number of users, transactions, product listings and more.

6. Regulatory Compliance

Be it vehicle maintenance, insurance requirements, or taxation and licensing, navigating regulatory challenges can be daunting for many car rental companies.


Wrapping Up

Car rental portal development requires a structured and calculated approach. The features mentioned above can give companies a basic understanding of what they should do to build a functional car rental portal. In a nutshell, car rental portals should be mobile-friendly with prompt customer support features. Facilitating an easy search for customers, implementing loyalty programs, and staying abreast of emerging trends and technologies go a long way in developing a robust car rental portal.

The secret to long-term growth and longevity in the car rental industry is to adapt to changing times and customer demands while embracing technology. There is no denying that car rental portal development is a challenging task. Companies must analyze their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, budget, and what they want to achieve by building a car rental portal. Once they figure out the fundamentals, they can proceed with car rental portal development.

If you lack the expertise and knowledge to build a car rental portal or app, hire a professional agency for it. With dedicated resources, specialized knowledge, and relevant experience, a professional app development firm can execute your car rental portal development project from start to finish.

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