On-demand Car Rental App Development: Features, Benefits, and Cost

How to build a Car Rental App? Know the Trends, Features, and Cost

car rental app development plan

Do you want to develop a car rental app like Turo? There are many efficient mobile app development companies that can help you in the process, but first, you need to know what are the things that you need to keep in mind when you opt for car rental app development and most importantly the cost to develop one.

According to research, the car-rental market size will reach approximately $124 billion by 2022. There are various approaches to building an effective rental car mobile app. You can get in touch with one of the top reputed mobile app development companies to help you in the development process. But first, it will be helpful for you to know some of the basics of car rental app development like – how to go out-of-box to integrate the latest trends, make the app work perfectly with the latest features and functionalities, best monetization models to adapt, and more.

Coming straight to the point that is of utmost importance for the clients – the cost. The most common question amongst the car rental businesses today is, how much would it cost to develop a car rental app platform?

Well here’s the answer, the cost to develop a car rental app marketplace starts from $20000, but will further vary based on the automotive software development service provider you hire and the technologies and features you opt to integrate. Having a better insight into what it takes to develop a car rental app like Turo, a premier car rental company in India, will provide a clear understanding of the niche aspects. Let’s have a look at those in detail one-by-one.

What’s the Importance of Car Rental App Service?

In the car rental industry, the competition is fierce and car rentals vying for customers’ attention need a magical solution that can help them with all the issues they are facing. That’s where the car rental application plays a vital role. With innovative automotive app ideas providing ample of new opportunities for the vehicle rental business, and the latest automotive technology trends adding to it makes the car rental business a lucrative one to pursue. Let’s dig deeper to know its importance.

Market Saturation

With car sales reaching a point of saturation, and people preferring to use cabs and rented cars, the prospects of the industry seem brighter than ever. One of the top reasons is the exponential rise in traffic. Renting a car or a cab gives people more liberty to move around more freely with every aspect of the car right from maintenance to insurance o be taken care of by the rental business. This creates a win-win situation for the business as well as the user. As a result, a lot of entrepreneurs are looking at this as a business opportunity.

Answer competition

In every city, nearly 8-10 car rental businesses are operating which makes it difficult to gain the customers’ attention and convince them for car rental booking. That’s where car rental app development solves this problem by differentiating the business from the crowd.

The app not only helps car renting owners to get bookings on mobile, but enables customers to search, find, and book the best rental car at their fingertips. The customers can even pre-book the car and make the payment which eliminates the need for the driver to wait for the customers before onboarding.

Make the most out of data

A mobile app is a valuable tool for getting customers’ data and analyzing their rental booking preferences and habits, which, in turn, enables personalizing the services according. The customization touch when complemented in marketing strategy, the results will be wonderful. It improves the customers’ booking and loyalty rates as well.

Ensure security

Car rental owners do not rely on drivers all the time regarding the vehicle and passengers’ security such as the routes and directions that the vehicle is tracking, the speed at which it’s driving, time standing idle at one point, finding the location in real-time, and more. GPS integration with a mobile app enables tracking vehicles instantly.

Preventive maintenance

With a range of fleets, it’s difficult to keep track of the maintenance of all the fleets manually. That’s where the mobile app showcases the performance of the vehicles with sensors attached to every vehicle. The sensors transmit important information when there’s a breakdown or malfunction of the vehicle. The data helps in taking decisions proactively before the situation becomes worse.

Improve your customer engagement & satisfaction with a Car Rental mobile app

Why you should invest in Car Rental App Development?

Let’s accept it: not all people own cars. That’s where the car rental business comes to the rescue which helps them get a car on rent with the least convenience. As self-drive car rental becomes the go-to choice of travelers, the rental car app development revolutionizes the entire traveling industry. Here are the compelling stats that persuade you for the same.

  • The car rental market is poised to grow by $93.17 billion during 2022-2026, accelerating at a CAGR of 18.66% with the advent of intermediaries also gaining momentum.
  • In the Car Rentals segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 78.3 million users by 2026, and the average revenue per user (ARPU) is expected to amount to $38.96.
  • Revenue in the Car Rentals segment is projected to reach $81.32 billion in 2022 and show an annual growth rate between 2022-2026 of 9.38%.

The business model of Car Rental apps

The business model - car rental theme image

As a rental car business,  you can either purchase your own fleet of cars, or signup car owners to give their cars on rent through your car rental platform. The users can book their preferred car through the app for car rentals, which will enable them to search the car according to the user’s preferences. The user can rent the car for a few hours to a few days and give the car back once the purpose is solved. Car rental businesses earn money by charging a fee for renting a car through their platform.

There are many car rental companies that are successfully plying their trade with slight changes in the business model. Getaround is a car rental app working on the principle of peer-peer car renting much like Zoomcar. Turo (earlier RelayRides) is another peer-to-peer car-sharing platform. The concept was inspired by similar online marketplaces such as Airbnb.

Another startup, ZipCar has a slightly different business model. To use the service of ZipCar, its members need to purchase a monthly or an annual subscription service of ZipCar. Then the customers can access the ZipCar vehicles that are parked around the city for an additional charge.

Read More : What Startups Need to Know About Business Models?

Different Types of Car Rental Mobile Apps Services

Car rental services come in different varieties which makes it essential for businesses to choose the right type of car rental service to maximize bookings and revenue. Here are the different car rental mobile apps that you can opt for.

Self-Driven Car Rentals

This car rental mobile app includes driving the car by the users when they are good at four-wheeler vehicle driving. The service provider sends the car reserved by the users to the desired location and then the user drops it off at the pre-defined stop. The users just need to pay for the selected car and the distance they travel to enjoy the car ride on their own.

Corporate Car Rentals

The corporate car rental mobile apps are exclusively built for the companies that provide services to their business clients to easily reach out to the office or get around the city. The services are offered in a limited area.

Outstation Car Rentals

Outstation car rental apps are a boon for people that drives to other cities frequently. The car rental app marketplace enables users to rent a car and drive anywhere after booking them for a long time. However, it’s a little expensive option.

Local Car Rentals

Local car rental apps are gaining traction as the tourism industry attracts more people from different corners of the world. It involves making the car available for visitors and locals to move around the city and pay for the car rent and distance traveled at the end of the day.

Read More: Business Opportunity in Automotive Industry With Software Development

Popular Car Rental Mobile Apps Developed

Some car rental apps have made their mark in the traveling industry with unique strategies, features, designs, and much more. Take a glance at some of those car rental business giants.

Zoomcar app

The Zoomcar app launched in 2013 has successfully completed more than 11 million trips across 27 cities in India. With a fleet of more than 10,000 cars, Zoomcar facilitated the KLE system that enables users to unlock car smartphones and PEPS allows starting engines without physically entering the car. IoT-powered Cadabra allows tracking car activities in real-time such as car engine health, breaking, fuel levels, seat belt use, driving behavior, and others.

AI and ML technologies integration enables gathering and analyzing millions of data points to minimize accidents, diminish operating costs, and increase profitability. The peer-to-peer car rental app marketplace is gaining momentum with continuous upgrades.

Turo App

Turo is a peer-to-peer car rental marketplace platform that allows car owners to rent out their cars to those who need to borrow a car. The rental platform was founded in 2010, and since then has grown to become a popular alternative to traditional automobile rental businesses. Renters can choose from a wide range of automobiles, from economical to luxury, and book and pay for their rental through the mobile app.

The leading car rental application creates a win-win situation for both borrowers and car owners, allowing car owners to make extra money while offering renters the convenience to select from a wide range of cars to opt from for rent. The car rental app has an easy-to-use UI, GPS tracking feature, and 24/7 customer support to ensure a hassle-free and safe car renting experience.

Hertz car app

Hertz car rental business is a century-old business that started with merely 10 cars and is now turned into the biggest car rental company worldwide that’s generating $270 million in revenue. With more than 12,000 administration offices and representatives from 160 nations of the globe, the company is operating all through the Hertz car mobile app.

The app has an intuitive interface that enables access to all the information related to car rental reservations along with attractive offers and required support for smooth journeys. It enables users to drive unlimited mileage with in-app navigation and easy-to-find parking spot for a fixed price.

Zipcar App

The app facilitates getting a car on rent for a few hours a day without wasting time. The app enables completing the drive at reasonable rates by providing full tanks at the time of pickup. The app works mostly in USA, European, and Canada and facilitates insurance for the users as well.

The app is available free to download but booking car rental requires a Zipcar membership that starts at $6 monthly. The services that the company provides are worth the membership fee they charge.

Hotwire App

Hotwire provides a complete package by providing car rental services followed by hotel booking services that enable customers to save big on their trip. The app is known for offering car rental services at the lowest rates. You can enjoy car rental services at just $12.99, that’s superb.

Car rental mobile app development like- Hotwire, Zoomcar, or Hertz is a great deal. It requires you to decide which features to keep in your next app, and where the next section will help you.

Take Your Car Rental Business to the Next Level with the App we build

Demystifying how Car Rental Applications like Turo Operate

When it comes to car rental app development, it is crucial to understand how peer-to-peer car rental applications work. Let us walk you through a detailed workflow model, derived from a thorough analysis of diverse car rental apps:

  • Car owners join the peer-to-peer car rental app and upload explicit cars.
  • Customers browse through the car listings and choose their desired car.
  • With the help of a supporting calendar, they choose their rental dates and time.
  • Customers finish the booking by paying the listed rental fee along with necessary documents and a liable security deposit.
  • The app owner subtracts their commission from the rental fee and handles the security deposit. Moreover, the remaining rental fee is deposited into the car owner’s account directly.
  • When the car is returned to the owner, he/she inspects damages if any, and reports back to the app owner.
  • The app owner avails the customer’s rental security deposit to recompense the owner for any damage.
  • If there have been no signs of damage then the entire security deposit is returned back to the customer.
  • Customers can withdraw their earnings once they reach the minimum threshold set by the app owner.

The aforementioned workflow can be customized to your specific business needs and project requirements. Furthermore, a custom app development company can guide you through the process and their customized business analysis can help determine the necessary adjustments before kickstarting the development stage.

Tips on how to develop a car rental app like Turo

Developing a car rental app can be an exciting and rewarding venture for entrepreneurs. With the right app development strategy, you can create a successful car rental business that provides customers with convenient access to cars on demand. But to build your dream app, there are certain steps that need to be taken as an entrepreneur in order to ensure business success. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to build a car rental app:

  • Market Analysis & Research

    Before starting any project it’s important to do research into the market and analyze potential competitors. This will help inform decisions about pricing models, customer service strategies, and more so that your business stands out from the competition. You should also look at industry trends in order to understand what type of features may appeal most strongly to customers as well as which technological innovations could provide an edge over car rental business rivals.

  • Define Requirements

    Based on the market analysis and research you need to define the app requirements. It should provide details on exactly what services, features and functionalities should your car rental app provide that make it one of a kind app. Think about all aspects like AI-chatbot integration, GPS live location updates, payment processing options, security measures, etc., all while keeping both users’ needs and legal regulations top of mind.

  • Think about Car Rental App Flow

    Now comes one of the most crucial stages; designing how people will interact with your application through its flow or navigation structure. Start by mapping out each page or screen within the overall journey from start to finish then take this further by thinking through individual elements such as buttons menus drop-down lists etc., making sure they are intuitively placed and easy to use. Though, this step is optional and more useful if you can provide more information on how you want your car rental app to work.

  • Partner with App Developers

    After completing these initial steps it is time to partner with mobile app development experts who will bring the car rental app idea to life. Make sure to choose the app development team that has experience developing apps similar to yours so they know how to avoid the pitfalls when creating code base architecture. Additionally, if you are on a budget look to hire offshore app developers, as they are truly cost-efficient and have the expertise to see you through with a car rental app that is destined to succeed.

The app development process mostly remains the same and once you hire an expert app development company all the processes thereafter will be taken care of professionally. Though timely association or feedback would be required once you have put through your idea you can rest assured that the expert app development service providers can help you get quality car rental app development service.

Easily manage your business with our efficient Car Rental app

Features to develop Car Rental Apps like Zoomcar

User panel features for car rental app services

User panel - Car rental user panel screens

Sign up/sign in: The signup process should be short. The user should not feel overwhelmed with the amount of information that he/she needs to enter to sign up. The best way is to integrate social media accounts to sign up. In this way, you will enable one-click login and also eliminate the need for entering too many details.

Choosing cars: There should be an option to select cars where the user can choose cars based on various parameters like size, type, and model. For instance, a person planning to visit a place with a family of 4 people on a long tour should be able to select an SUV, while a person planning to travel alone should be able to choose a small car.

Fare estimate: The users should be able to get an estimate of the fare so that they can make an informed decision about the ride. You can integrate maps to help the users in understanding the estimated time and distance.

Complete booking: Once the user has selected the appropriate car, then there should be an option to book the car.

GPS: Integrating GPS with IoT technology in your app will help in monitoring the location of the car. This will reduce the possibility of the car being stolen, and help can be provided quickly in case of a breakdown.

Payment: There should be an option to pay for the service from the app. Net banking, phone banking, PayPal, payment through credit or debit cards, and online payment wallets are among the essential payment methods that should be integrated into your app to make the payment process easy for the user.

Manage booking: This feature will help the user to manage the bookings. Here the user can cancel or reschedule a booking or even pre-plan a booking and book in advance.

Setting the car pickup point: The users should be able to select the pickup and drop-point for the car. The selection of the pickup and drop point can be facilitated by integrating maps with your app.

Notifications: Your app should give the users notifications regarding their ride like the pickup location, drop location, time remaining, and payment notifications.

Car owner panel features for car rental mobile apps services

Car Owner panel - Car Owner panel screens

Login and Registration: The car owner should be able to create an account on the app via email, phone number, or social networks.

Car owner dashboard: The car owner should be able to put up pictures of the car, and enter all the required details along with any additional information the car owner would like to provide. And also, let the users know about the availability of the car and see the statistical data related to his/her car.

Payment details: This section will provide information about the payments received upon completion of the ride by the user.

Also Read: Everything to know about developing a Car Wash app

Admin panel features for Car rental business app

Admin panel - Car rental admin panel screens

Car management: This feature will allow the admin to manage all the cars. From this panel, the admin will be able to assign, and update the status of the order, and also the location of the pickup and drop points.

Payment management: In this section, the payment details of the customers are stored. And based on the decided percentage, the payments are released on completion of the ride user.

Customer profile management: This is the area where all the details related to the customer will be stored.

Car owner management: This is the area where all the details related to the car owner will be stored.

Fare management: This section will allow the admin to manage fares based on the distance, the type of cars, and other additional services if any offered.

Advance Features for car rental app services

Analytics and report: For any business to be successful, it is vital that there is an efficient use of available data. Data such as the number of cars running currently, which route is the busiest, and which are the bottlenecks hogging up profits, can be obtained using this feature. This feature will provide all the business intelligence required to operate the business efficiently.

Breakdown service: You could provide a value-added breakdown service to your customers, in case the car meets an accident or gets punctured and the passengers require roadside assistance.

Availing a driver: Sometimes, users require the services of a driver. Especially when they are planning a long trip, it will add to the level of convenience if your app could provide a driver. Adding this feature will also help in increasing your revenue.

Providing information to the user: Your app can go a step further by providing essential updates like weather and traffic updates to the user. Also, your app could find out a nearby parking spot as the user approaches the destination.

In-app chat assistant: Customer service of your app is of prime importance. There are many goof-ups in a ride like a customer getting stranded at the wrong location or a breakdown of the car. These kinds of goof-ups, if not sorted out in time, have the potential of damaging your brand image. Hence, you need to have a robust customer service department functioning to solve the problems of the users instantly.

An in-app AI chatbot can help you in sorting out the issues of customers faster by answering their basic queries of customers. The chatbot can assign the case to the customer service executive if it is an urgent case or a case that the chatbot cannot resolve itself.

Save Time and Hassle – Manage your Car Renting Business on the go with custom car rental app solutions

Monetization Strategies that car rental apps can implement

Advertisement revenue

Advertisements can be placed in your app, which will act as a source of income for you. Keeping advertisements as a source of revenue will help in reducing the operating costs of the app.

Revenue from car rentals

This source will form a significant chunk of your revenues. Users will pay for renting the cars, you can rent according to the number of kilometers traveled or according to the number of days for which the car is rented.

Tie-ups with other service providers

You can tie up with other service providers like mechanics, tour operators, and hotels to provide value-added services to your users, generating an additional source of revenue in the process.

Technology Stack required to develop Car Rental App Marketplace


Designing a beautiful UI/UX is essential for crafting a pleasant experience. You can utilize platforms like Photoshop, Google Sketch, HTML5, or CSS to create an enchanting UI for your app.

Payment Gateways

Solutions such as Braintree and Stripe will help you in integrating various payment gateways like Paypal, visa, and master card.

Data Storage

Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) will be the ideal choices for storing data on the cloud. With the use of cloud technology, the operational costs of your app can be brought down substantially. Also, the reliability of cloud services of the above-mentioned service providers is pretty good, hence you can save yourself those hefty costs involved in keeping an on-site server.


You could choose to develop your app from one of the many available coding languages like Objective C, Java, React Native, Flutter, Python, and Swift depending upon the fact whether you want to develop a native or a hybrid app.

Push notifications

Push notifications are absolutely essential for a car rental service app. You would need to notify the users regarding various touchpoints in the customer journey like confirmation of booking, location sharing of the pickup, and drop points. You could integrate various push notification services like Firebase, Twillo, and Apple push notification service.

Also Read: Advantages of Push Notifications

Document verification

You can integrate your app with the database of local transport regulators. This will help you in verifying the authenticity of documents like Driving license, provided by the user.

Data Analytics

Conducting thorough Big data analytics is a sure-shot way of keeping ahead of the curve. You will get invaluable insights into your business, which will eventually help you in growing the business. Cloud service providers like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google give you an analytics package along with their cloud service.


You will need to integrate the location services into your app to monitor the location of your managed cars. For Android, the Google location services package is ideal. While for the iPhone, it is advisable to use Apple’s Mapkit and core-location services to inculcate the feature of location tracking.

Signup feature with social media

Signing up with a social media account will facilitate the signup process. To integrate the Facebook signup feature, you will have to integrate a Facebook SDK with your app.

Also Read: Complete Guide on How to Develop Car Auctions App

The team required to develop Car Rental App Marketplace

For developing a basic car rental mobile app, you will require

  • 1-UI and UX designer
  • 1-Quality Assurance Engineer
  • 1 – 2 developers

To develop an advanced car rental application you will need a team of

  • 1-2 Team Managers/technology experts
  • 2 UI/UX designer
  • 2-3 Quality Analysts
  • 6-8 developers
  • 1-Project Manager

Cost to build a Car rental app

If you are planning to develop a basic car rental application, the budget required will start from $20000 and the pricing goes high for a more sophisticated and feature-rich app.

There are various aspects based on which app development cost is calculated. To give you a brief insight into some of the most important aspects and how the costs for different aspects of a car rental business service add up to the total cost, here are some insights;

  • Complexity & Technology – The cost of developing any mobile app depends upon the level of complexity of the app and the technologies to be integrated.
  • Features & Functionalities – The more functionalities and features you need in your app, the higher the will be the cost.
  • App Developer’s Location – It also matters which location you are planning to hire an app development company from, to develop your mobile app.

For instance:- In North America, the cost of hiring app developers might vary from $ 115-180 per hour, while the same app can be built in India when you hire developers at $25-$65 per hour.

It is good to have an estimate of the number of days that will be required to build your app because the time required to build an app is directly proportional to the total cost required to build the app.

  • User signup/sign-in: Integrating the signup and sign-in functions can take 1-2 days.
  • Payment gateway integration:
    7-8 days usually are required to integrate different payment gateways like Visa and Mastercard cards, Internet banking, and various payment wallets.
  • Geolocation:
    Integrating the Geolocation functionality will take around 6-7 days.
  • Push notification management:
    Push notifications will take anywhere between 5-6 days to integrate.
  • User dashboard & service integration:
    It will take 22-27 days to integrate an option for car booking, booking status, car listing, search for a car, canceling a booking, and reviewing car owner into the user’s panel.
  • Car Owner dashboard & backend:
    22-27 days are required to integrate the option to list a car, select available dates, cancel the booking, track user location, and payment received with an option to view payment history as well.
  • Basic Analytics & Reports Integration:
    It will take about 12-15 days to integrate some of the basic analytics and reporting formats.
  • Admin Panel for user management:
    5-6 days are required to integrate the user management panel for Admin.
  • Admin panel for Car owner management:
    5-6 days are required to integrate the car owner management panel for Admin.
  • Admin panel dashboard and other basic requirements:
    Integrating payment transaction views, car listing management, and other basic requirements will take about 12-15 days.
  • Admin panel for car & other service management:
    It will take 12-15 days to integrate features like booking status, track locations and manage reviews & ratings in the admin panel
  • Chat & other help and support integration:
    If you wish to integrate the function of in-app chat into your app, then it can take up to 15-20 days. Integrating the chatbot is an advanced feature and will take more time, depending upon the complexity of the chatbot required.


Hire a good app development company to help your Car Rental Business

The quality of your car rental mobile app will have an overbearing effect on the success of your car rental business. To ensure that your application is successful, you should take the help of a professional app development company.

The experience that an expert app development team brings to the table in terms of app development strategy and planning, unique features, appealing UI/UX design, and efficiently integrating the latest technologies proves invaluable in building great car rental apps. Not to forget, the transparency they maintain in development cost breakdown is ultimate. Such an app not only helps your car rental business stand out from the competition but also climbs the ladder faster to be the top-ranked app in the app stores.

As a client, get to know how our development costs vary for different services and different types of application development to get a brief insight into the budget required to develop a solution for your business needs.

FAQs on Car Rental App Development

Which specific features make the car rental apps stand out from the competition?

Integrating car rental apps with advanced features such as AI chatbot, IoT-powered car tracking, mobile-operated car engine, keyless car unlocking, parking finder, and biometric authentication make the app stand out.

How many stages are included in car rental app development?

Car rental app development goes through five stages that are- discovery workshop, app idea validation, UI/UX designing & Wireframing, functionality & features development, and testing & launch.

Which are the best car rental apps?

Some popular car rental apps that have gained immense traction worldwide are- Turo, Hertz, Avis Now, Car2Go, Skyscanner, Zipcar, Hotwire, and others.

How car rental app development is advantageous?

Car rental app development brings a wide spectrum of benefits like- improved transparency, ease of use, safe rental, reasonability, and straight connection with customers.

How much does it cost to build a car rental app?

Typically our Car rental app development cost starts from $20000 with basic features, and the cost goes high for a more sophisticated and feature-rich app.

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