Car rental application development - blog cover

Starting a new car rental business has never been an easy task. Even such giants like Hertz and Avis had always experienced tough competition. Technologies have changed this market just like every other. It is safe to say that all the major players already have web and mobile applications that give users access to the vast range of car hire services on their computers or smartphones. Because of that, their customers can do all the same as if they have visited the company’s office. So, the question is no longer whether your business should have a web portal with the full functionality but what is the cost and timeline of car rental application development including both mobile and web applications.

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Peer-to-peer car rental applications like Turo have made every vehicle owner a competitor for the regular providers of these services. Offering the same benefits as insurance, they often have lower prices and much wider coverage, turning every garage into a small car hire company. Something very similar happened with taxi services because applications like Uber have removed intermediator between vehicle owners and their direct customers.

What is very similar between Turo and Uber is that those apps are making the process of renting an auto or calling a cab as accessible as ever before. Anybody with a smartphone or computer connected to the internet can get the required service without the need to leave their home, go to local rental services, make calls, enter their credit card numbers, etc. Moreover, every vehicle owner or Uber driver has become the first line of support able to answer simple questions like details about the vehicle or the route.


For this comparison, we will take two well-known companies and have a closer look at the services available for their customers online via the web application or mobile app.

hertz car rental web application screenshot

The Hertz Corporation, founded in 1918, is one of the oldest and most successful car rental businesses ever created. From their HQ in Florida, Hertz operates more than 9,700 international corporate and franchise locations. With almost 6 million unique website visitors per month and dozens of millions of downloads from Google Play and App Store, Hertz has proven itself as an example of successful digital transformation and migrated a huge part of their business to the web, which now generates a significant part of its revenue.

Avis car rental web application home page screenshot

Avis – just like Hertz, has become a generic name for the car rental business. Since its foundation in 1946, Avis has grown into a worldwide company with approximately 5,550 locations in dozens of countries. Website generates almost 4 million unique monthly visitors. The well-developed and organized web portal allows Avis to spread its business far beyond their offices and give their potential customers convenient access to all the services online. Also, what is very important for our research, Avis purchased the car-sharing service Zipcar – which is very similar to Turo mentioned above in 2013. They did this to penetrate the peer-to-peer applications market with the subsidiary company. This means that despite Avis’s strong position in the market, company leadership understands the importance of holding their hand on the pulse of the latest technology trends and experimenting with various business models.


Companies are trying to do their best to keep up with the competition. To do that, they have to develop user-friendly and easy-to-use web and mobile applications. A simple website with basic information and, for example, a list of available cars is not enough anymore. The company’s website has, at least, to offer booking, selection of the type of vehicles, tracing of the available ones, online payment, and some extra services. People are used to booking flight tickets, hotel rooms, and many other services online via web portals or mobile applications and pay for everything online in advance with credit cards to make sure that their room or vehicle is waiting for them in the right place and at the exact time.


Now let’s have a look at the Hertz mobile application and the Avis web portal to define what a modern car rental system should look like.

Hertz application for mobile devices

Hertz car rental mobile application home page screenshot

The Hertz car rental application is rather simplistic yet includes all the needed functionality. It has a very clean and good-looking design. Both mobile and web-based car rental applications have a very similar backend with the shared database so the entire car rental reservation system provides users with most of the functions available at the web portal.
Hertz car rental mobile application parking location and car booking screenshots

As you can see, users can find nearby parking, get information about special offers, log in to their account to see the history of their past activities, change their contact information, and finally, rent a vehicle.

Also, it has a pre-booking feature where you choose between available parking, time and date, and the type of car to be sure that your vehicle will be waiting for you when you arrive.

The car rental business software works really smoothly and delivers great user experience and convenience in everything related to the services. Customers have access to all needed information, such as the address of their pick-up spot and the reservation number, in one place. Both Avis and Hertz have mobile car rental apps that help their customers to benefit from their services on mobile devices wherever they want.

Avis car rental web application

Despite the significant dominance of mobile applications in social networks and news aggregators, people still prefer computers when they make complex banking operations, book flight tickets or hotel rooms, and rent a car. Both Hertz and Avis have a great interface of the car rental system which represents all their services to the customers online.

Now, let’s have a look at how the web application deals with the full cycle of the renting services, just as Hertz’s website and mobile car rental booking software do.

Avis car rental web application home page screenshot

First of all, it provides the possibility to rent a vehicle online, select a time and date, choose a pick-up location, and many other options. The booking can be prepaid online in by the credit card associated with the account or by other available payment methods.

Car choice screen

After you have chosen time and date for your reservation, Avis gives you plenty of choices between different vehicle types available at the selected parking, vehicle classes, price range, etc. Basically, it shows everything that anybody would need to make a conscious choice. As you can see, the information on the screen can address all driver’s criteria like fuel consumption, number of seats, transmission type, etc.

upcoming car reservation screen

A very informative customer profile is also there. In this section, you can track your past and upcoming reservations, adjust profile settings, etc. Profile, where customers can see the full story of their actions, is a must for all types of services regardless of whether this is hotel booking, car hire service, or even an eCommerce platform. Avis places the most important information in front of the user right away, so it can be obtained in a quick and easy manner.


Developing a car rental application requires careful planning and consideration of various factors such as features, technology, user experience, and security. Let’s consider some steps you can follow to develop a car rental application:

  • Define the scope and requirements: it’s always important to consider the needs of both customers and the rental company. In addition to features such as online booking, vehicle selection, payment processing, customer service, and vehicle pickup and drop-off, it’s important to identify specific needs such as tracking vehicle availability and maintenance, etc.
  • Choose a technology stack: Considerations such as programming languages, frameworks, libraries, and databases will depend on the specific needs of the application. The team is responsible for choosing technologies that can handle the expected traffic and provide a seamless user experience across multiple devices.
  • Create the UI/UX design: Designing a user-friendly interface is crucial to the success of a car rental application. The interface should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and consistent with the rental company’s branding. Responsive design is also important to ensure the application is accessible and functional on different devices.
  • Develop the car rental solution: The development involves writing code, integrating APIs, and configuring databases. Implementing online booking functionality, search and filter features, payment gateways, vehicle availability and maintenance tracking, and customer service systems are some tasks that need to be completed.
  • Test the application: It is an essential process stage to ensure the application functions correctly and meets user needs. The team can apply such critical activities as user acceptance testing, unit testing, integration testing, etc.
  • Launch the software: This step covers publishing the application to app stores or hosting it on a web server, marketing it through social media or paid advertising, and monitoring its performance and customer feedback.
  • Maintain and update the application: It remains crucial to ensure its continued success. Regular updates and bug fixes, responding to customer feedback, and adding new features to meet changing needs are some activities that need to be performed.

Overall, developing a car rental application is a complex process that requires careful planning, development, testing, and maintenance. Working with an experienced team of developers and designers is essential to ensure a successful outcome.

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A vehicle rental app can provide customers with a quick and easy way to rent a car without having to go through the hassle of visiting a rental agency or making phone calls. Customers can simply browse available cars, select the one that best suits their needs, and complete the rental process all within the app.

At the same time, rental companies can reach a wider audience and increase their revenue. A rental app helps to streamline the rental process, making it more efficient and less time-consuming for both customers and employees. Therefore, we’ve gathered the main benefits businesses can get here:

  • Unique business model: A solution can be tailored to fit a specific business model that may not be well-served by existing rental platforms. This can allow businesses to stand out in a crowded market and offer something new and valuable to their customers.
  • Meeting customer demand: With the rise of the sharing economy, customers are increasingly looking for more convenient and flexible ways to rent cars. A custom car rental application can provide a seamless user experience and offer features such as booking, payment, and vehicle selection, which can help to meet this demand.
  • Branding and customer engagement: Businesses can enhance their brand image and engage with their customers more effectively. A well-designed app can increase customer loyalty and repeat business.
  • Competitive advantage: Developing a custom car rental system can provide a competitive advantage over other rental companies, especially if the app offers unique features or services that are not available through other channels.
  • Revenue generation: A custom vehicle rental app can provide an additional revenue stream for the rental company, as well as increase overall rental revenue by making it easier for customers to rent cars.
  • Improved efficiency: That helps to streamline the rental process, reducing the number of resources and time required to manage reservations, check-in and check-out, and other rental-related tasks.
  • Data collection and analysis: Also, these solutions provide valuable data on customer behavior and preferences, which can be used to improve marketing, pricing, and overall customer satisfaction.
  • Increased flexibility: A custom car rental application can be built to accommodate a wide range of rental scenarios and offer greater flexibility than existing rental platforms. This can allow businesses to adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs more easily.


Now that we have an understanding of which features are necessary and how to develop a car rental business software, we can roughly say what should be under the hood (back-end) of such a car rental application.

We are not going to detail the features or try to make an exhaustive list of functionalities; our purpose is to have an estimate of the cost of developing an actual car rental reservation software from scratch.

Backend logic:

  • Manage vehicle availability
  • Manage membership: affiliation management, vehicle owners management, members management
  • Role management: administration of the backend, role-based management
  • Manage the frontend (content insertion, information update, etc.)
  • Manage booking system: options (pick-off or drop-out locations, price management – low seasons, high seasons, etc.)  
  • Contract management

Booking features: search for available vehicles, use of filters (price, vehicle model, time, pick off and drop out locations, etc.):

  • Reservation and billing
  • Research by filters
  • Cancellation
  • Confirmation
  • Postpone

Online payments:

  • Refund
  • Payment and invoice

Other features:

  • Android and iOS mobile applications
  • Rating system
  • Monitoring
  • Support and message handling
  • Pricing system
  • Membership management for vehicle owners and partners
  • Membership management for tenants
  • Cloud-based services

Based on our estimation:

  • 2 backend developers working full time for 6 months charge $80/h = $153,600
  • 1 front-end developer working full time for 4 months charges $80/h = $51,200
  • 1 android developer working full time for 4 months charges $80/h = $51,200
  • 1 iOS developer working full time for 4 months charges $90/h = $57,600
  • 1 graphic designer working full time for 4 months charges $60/h = $38,400
  • 2 QA engineers working full time for 6 months charge $70/h = $124,400
  • 1 PM who manages the project from design to project launch for 6 months charges $100/h = $96,000
  • 1 System Administrator working full time for 2 weeks charges $70/h = $5,600

A car rental application will cost approximately $588,000.

How to estimate your car rental application cost?

You can apply for the help of professionals to make an estimate and provide additional assistance. At Existek, we focus on delivering reasonable solutions while covering the primary needs of our clients.

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Total cost     $588 000 $453 600 $191 440
Specialist Number of Devs. Months of Engagement US Hourly Rate Western Europe
Hourly Rate
Eastern Europe
Back-end developer 2 6 80 65 25
Android developer 1 2 80 60 30
iOS developer 1 2 90 70 31
Front-end developer 1 2 80 65 30
Graphic designer 1 2 60 50 25
QA engineer 2 6 70 55 20
Project manager 1 6 100 65 30
System Administrator 1 1/2 70 50 25


Major players in this market have already moved part of their business to the Internet; thus, a significant part of their revenue is generated through online channels. The rest of the car rental companies, including those who work locally, have to provide their customers with fully-functioning web portals and applications for mobile devices to keep up with the competition. This is especially important if you’re going to start a new business.

During our research, we came to the conclusion that it would cost about $588,000 to develop a web-based car reservation system alongside the Android and iOS mobile apps that duplicate its main features. The final product can cost much less with the same high level of quality if developed in some of the offshore locations. The car rental app development process can take approximately 6 months from the moment of creation of the Functional Requirements Specifications Document to the product launch.

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Frequently asked questions

What is car rental application development?

Car rental app development involves creating software allowing users to rent cars from various rental agencies online. These applications are designed to streamline the process of renting a car by providing a user-friendly interface that allows customers to easily search for available cars, compare prices, and make reservations.

What are the popular car rental applications?

Among the known market representatives, you can find:

  • Hertz
  • Avis 
  • Turo
  • Getaround

What are the features to include for car rental solutions?

Car rental applications typically include features such as user registration and login, car search and booking, payment processing, and vehicle tracking. The applications may also provide additional features such as car insurance, GPS navigation, roadside assistance, etc.

How much does it cost to create a car rental app from scratch?

The development cost depends on a number of factors, including chosen functionality, app complexity, developers’ expertise, location, etc. In general, the average cost of the car rental application could fluctuate between $190 000 and $600 000.

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