Planning to Launch An Online Car Rental Marketplace? Website/App Features to Succeed!

Planning to Launch An Online Car Rental Marketplace? Website/App Features to Succeed!

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Last Updated: 4th March, 2021

With increasing consumer demands for rental products, the online rental industry is penetrating into  various niches. P2P car rental marketplace is one of those niches that has gained immense success in recent years with incumbents like Turo and Get Around. Not only is a P2P marketplace lucrative in 2021 but also asset-light, requiring the business owner to have least possible resources to conduct successful car rental operations.

According to Statista, the number of consumers in the worldwide car rental market is expected to reach 291.5 million by 2023. The possible reasons behind the growth are increase in the purchasing power of consumers, increase in the number of car owners (who become vendors and earn money by renting their cars on a marketplace) and the growth in the travel and tourism industry.

To capitalize on the aforementioned growth, if you are planning to launch an online car rental marketplace then the following considerations will help you out:

Let’s start with the business model, and learn how people earn money from it.

Business Model of a Peer to Peer Car Rental Website

The business model includes three user-types which are business owner, car owner, and the rentee. Below is a mapped outline of the business model that P2P car rental marketplaces follow to conduct successful business operations.

(Entrepreneurs might need to make minor changes in the business model to align it with their P2P car rental business.)

  • Car owners register on the marketplace and upload detailed listings of their car(s)
  • The business owner reviews the listings and approves/rejects them as he deems fit
    • Approved listings are displayed on the website and shown to all visitors
    • Car owners get the option to moderate rejected listings and can send them back for reconsideration
  • Rentees browse the listings on the website and select the rental duration, date and time via the booking calendar
  • Rentees book the car by paying rental fee and security deposit to the business owner
  • The business owner deducts his commission from the rental fee and transfers the rest to the car owner
  • The car owner and rentee communicate to arrange delivery/pickup
  • On return, the car owner inspects the vehicle for any damages and informs the business owner
    • In case of any damages, a reimbursement is deducted from the rentee’s security deposit
    • If the car is in good shape, the business owner returns the entire security deposit to the rentee

The following video by Car and Away demonstrates the functionality of a Peer to Peer car rental marketplace.

Revenue Model of a Peer to Peer Car Rental Marketplace

eCommerce marketplaces can support multiple revenue streams. Below are the ones that are compatible with P2P car rental marketplaces.

  1. Rental Commission: Marketplace owner deducts a small commission from the rental fee charged by a car owner
  2. Subscription Packages: The owner can create multi-tier subscription packages for consumers and charge them for the benefits provided under the subscriptions on a monthly basis.
  3. Paid Listings: The marketplace owner can also charge peers for displaying their cars in featured listings. 
  4. Paid Promotions: In this revenue stream, third-party product or service suppliers can do their promotions on the car rental marketplace by paying the owner a certain amount of money. 
  5. Add-on Services: The marketplace owner can also offer paid services like vehicle cleaning, on-road assistance, vehicle insurance and more.

Successful Online Car Renting Marketplaces

Many peer-to-peer car rental companies have come up in the last decade. Below are the ones that earned maximum reputation amongst consumers.

  • Avis Car Rental 
  • Enterprise Rent- A-Car
  • Get Around 
  • Alamo Rent A Car
  • Car2Go

The aforementioned companies are the top contributors of the market share in the car rental industry.

Get Started with your Own P2P Car Rental Marketplace

Features of a Peer to Peer Car Rental Marketplace

Scratch development is inconvenient in the 2020’s and also very expensive. Along with scratch development, other marketplace development options aren’t much helpful if they lack the features to help you manage car rental operations. This is the reason why entrepreneurs today prefer using readymade solutions, which are inclusive of the said features and may require only a few customizations.

Similarly, it is wise to identify the features of a P2P car rental marketplace so that you can select a solution to launch your website and conduct business operations smoothly.

We have split the features based on user-types, which are:

 Features for Rentees

1. Advanced Booking Calendar

Date and time selection elements on page builders are impressive but not compatible with P2P car rental operations. A rental booking calendar requires some default and dynamic settings such as minimum rental duration, reserved delivery duration and buffer period for vehicle maintenance with the option to select two dates (rental period start and end date). Without these options, the marketplace owner or car owner can miscalculate the availability of the car and fail to provide it to the rentee on the asked date.

2. Search Filters

Rentees require a P2P car rental platform where they can find a car with maximum ease. Search filters are the website elements that bring that ease. Some of the filters that are appropriate for a P2P car rental marketplace are distance, availability, pricing, car type, fuel type, engine, servicing, year of make and extra features like GPS tracking and 4X4 wheel drive mode. From a marketplace owner’s perspective, appropriate search filters will assist him/her in reducing the bounce rate of the marketplace.

3. Compare Option

The car comparison option is an advanced feature that not many car rental websites and marketplaces provide. It assists the rentee in making a confident decision by providing a quick comparison of consumer-selected vehicles in a tabular form. Your car rental marketplace can display a comparison of up to 4 vehicles to provide convenience to the users. Not only will this help you make your users informed choices but also enhance the customer experience.

4. Rental Duration Extension

Rentees should know from where they can increase the rental duration. For this, they might need to communicate with the car owner but a dedicated feature for this purpose will eliminate the need for that. The feature will function along with the booking calendar, via which the rentee would be able to see if the car is available for a few more dates post the rental period. In case, if the car hasn’t been booked already for the upcoming days, then the rentee can extend the rental duration as per the dates available in the booking calendar.

5. Chat Support

Chat support is imperative in today’s time especially when consumers are aware of chatbots. Not only are rentees expecting marketplaces to provide them immediate support but they also want the marketplace to resolve their problems in real-time. In such a scenario, it is essential that you create an all-inclusive help center with detailed FAQs and chat support. If you can afford to have customer support executives provide real-time chat, then that’s even better.

Features for Car Owners

1. Income Calculator

Every car owner would like to know how much he/she can earn on your car rental marketplace. The income calculator will provide car owners with an estimate of their rental income. Once a car owner visits your income calculator webpage, he/she should be able to input his/her car details, like year of make, model, fuel type, etc. Using these details, the algorithm behind the income calculator will generate an estimated income and display it to the car owner.

2. Minimum Rental Duration and Buffer Period

The car owner should have the option to select the minimum rental duration while uploading a listing on the marketplace. The option will assist the rentee in selecting the rental duration and the car owner in maintaining a fixed rental income per booking. Buffer duration, on the other hand is the maintenance and inspection period. Within the buffer period, a car owner might not be able to rent out the car and thus must specify the buffer period while listing.

3. SEO and Marketplace Ranking Optimization Features

Every car owner on a P2P marketplace wants its car to rank as high as possible in search results. By providing the owners a clear understanding of how the ranking system works on the marketplace, you can assist them earn better. The same is the case with internet presence. With features such as slug optimization and alt tags for product images, car owners can themselves ensure that their listings rank high on search engines.

4. Media Management

Car owners should have the features to upload and remove media files for their listings. This can include various media types such as short length videos and high-quality images in formats like PNG and TIFF. Online rental software, Yo!Rent, also supports multi-purpose file attachments for uploading additional files such as PDF car specifications, terms and conditions of rent or care instructions.

5. Miscellaneous

Various miscellaneous features for the car owners include:

  • Order history
  • Enable/disable listings
  • Manage product delivery charges
  • Custom notifications option
  • View order status
  • Manage payment payout details
  • Option to manage discounts

Features for Website Owner (The admin)

The owner requires a number of features to exercise complete control over the P2P car rental website. In this article, we have grouped them together under the following categories:

Management Features

The first and foremost are the management features, which are required to conduct and administer business operations on the website. The admin of a P2P car rental marketplace should have the following management features:

  • Accept/reject listings
  • Add, remove and moderate uploaded listings
  • Create and manage categories for listings
  • Access order history
  • Set commission amount
  • View and download reports
  • Import and export listings and website data in XLS format
  • Remove or disable user accounts
  • Search filters to browse user accounts and product listings
  • Create and manage subadmin accounts
  • Currency and location settings

Content Management Features

  • Add, remove and edit blogs and web pages
  • Add and remove website graphics
  • Create and edit product labels
  • Add and manage social media links
  • Publish/unpublish web pages and blogs
  • Add or delete images on the website
  • Add and manage testimonials
  • Give read, write and edit privileges to sub-admin accounts

Marketing Features

  • Edit URL of web, product pages and blogs
  • Create and edit meta titles and descriptions
  • Add and remove affiliate accounts
  • Manage home sliders and banner images
  • Create and edit discounts
  • Enable/disable discounts

General Website Settings

  • Edit site logo
  • Edit website name
  • Edit email and physical address
  • Set up navigational links
  • Enable/disable chat
  • Configure email and SSL server settings
  • Import/export website data

Note: Yo!Rent V3 has been recently launched that offers an impressive range of features including document management, rental security management, eSign and agreement management, vehicle inspection, paid cancellation and more. Click here to read its full list of features.

Top Challenges Faced by the Owners of Car Rental Companies

Startup businesses in the car rental industry appreciate knowing the common troubles of similar businesses in the industry. Below are some challenges that a broad number of car rental businesses face.

1. Handling Complex Pricing Models

Car rental businesses deal with the problem of complex pricing mechanisms and quotation systems. The pricing of a rental car is inclusive of various factors such as the number of rental days, buffer period, security deposits (if any), taxes, delivery costs, etc. On a P2P car rental website, managing pricing is troublesome because of varying rental fees set by car owners and so do their delivery charges and other terms.

2. Brand Awareness

With increasing competition in the car rental industry, it is difficult for P2P car rental startups to secure their first customers without appropriate brand awareness. One of the most formidable trust-building elements, increasing brand awareness is a challenge every business deals with. A brand identity not only introduces a business to its target audience but also adds meaning to its services for them. Companies with adequate branding are able to connect easily with consumers and thus, drive sales. According to statistics, more than 65% consumers form an emotional connection with a brand.

3. Providing Customer Service

Consumers today perceive customer support as an absolute imperative. More than appropriate pricing, they lay focus on customer support. In such a scenario, the market competition does include the customer support features and services provided by businesses and their rivals. P2P car rental websites also require quick and adapt customer support to resolve various queries of the customers. Large scale car rental businesses such as Get Around and Budget Car Rental also provide on-road assistance, which is customer support at a next level.

Share your P2P Car Rental Marketplace Requirements

Conclusion

Being an asset-light business, P2P car rental marketplaces do not require heavy investment. However, they do need investment at the right place. For example, once you select or finalize a business model for your P2P car rental business, ensure that your selected software technology goes along with the model.

The features we mentioned in this blog are optional but are much-needed for P2P car rental websites. Including them in your website will streamline the eCommerce operations for your business. To cope up with the aforementioned challenges, we recommend you to use Yo!Rent to develop your online P2P car rental business.

Yo!Rent is a white-label rental marketplace solution with extensive features for marketing, such as SEO, SMM and affiliate management. It also supports discounts and other promotions. With precise algorithms, Yo!Rent is developed to handle multi-vendor price calculations, making it suitable for P2P businesses. Lastly, you can also integrate various third-party APIs in Yo!Rent to provide additional functionalities.

Disclaimer: The Blog has been created with consideration and care. We strive to ensure that all information is as complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date as possible. Despite our continuing efforts, we cannot guarantee that the information made available is complete, correct, accurate or up-to-date. We advise - the readers should not take decisions completely based on the information and views shared by FATbit on its blog, readers should do their own research to further assure themselves before taking any commercial decision. The 3rd party trademarks, logos and screenshots of the websites and mobile applications are property of their respective owners, we are not directly associated with most of them.


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Comments (11)
Amit Thumar

Very thorough detail of all the things needed to launch a successful P2P car rental business. Most of my queries regarding the business and revenue model have been answered in this blog.
Thanks

Tom James

I really like the infographic of P2P car rental business model. The blog is well researched and very nicely written.
Kudos!

FATbit Chef Post author

Hello Tarun,

Thank you for your appreciation. Stay tuned for more insights.

Regards,
Team FATbit

Val & Kar

Post is nicely written and it contains many good things for me. I am glad to find your impressive way of writing the post.

FATbit Chef Post author

Hello Val & Kar,

Thank you so much for your appreciation. Keep visiting us for more insights.

Regards,
Team FATbit

Export Japan Car

I am really extremely glad to visit your blog. Presently I am discovered which I really need. I check your blog regular and attempt to take in something from your blog. Much obliged to you and sitting tight for your new post.

FATbit Chef Post author

Hello,

Thank you so much for your appreciation. Stay tuned for more insights.

Best Regards,
Team FATbit

Car Rental Service in New York

Get Around is really popular and the demand for car renting platforms is justified. But, such a P2P car rental business can only be popular if it succeeds in creating brand awareness and trust. Otherwise, people would be doubtful about the security of their cars if rented through an unreliable platform.