How To Develop a MVP for Car Rental Marketplace: Features, Time, and Cost

If you want to develop a car rental app, first of all, think about its purpose.

Most of the startups begin to build a product without having a solid strategy and understanding of how it will bring value.

Online rental business is very diverse by itself. You can include a variety of features in your app and even offer other services besides renting a car. But how do you know that you will hit the mark?

Remember that simplicity is the soul of genius. The best way is to start from the basic features first, test them on your audience, and analyze the result.

In this article you will learn

1. How to evaluate your business model

2. What segment analysis is and how to apply it to your car rental app

3. What are the basic features for your car rental marketplace

4. What features to include during MVP development

5. How much time and cost it will take to develop a car rental app

6. Get a free PDF checklist on how to make you startup successful

Building the MVP for car rental app

Remember that in the beginning your aim is to create a word of mouth for your platform, promote it, and gather a сlient base.

To do this, it’s not necessary to provide big functionality and variety of different features and packages your users may not need at all.

What you really need is to create a basic product within the short period of time, push it onto the market, gather the first feedbacks and check out its competitiveness.

Here is a step by step guide on how to create the Minimum Viable Product for your car rental app.

  • Evaluate your business idea

Take your time and think whether there is a demand for your product on the market. The niche is competitive and your really have to think how to bring value to your users.

To do this, conduct a competitor analysis first. Take into account the following factors:

1. Their market size 2. Geographical coverage (whether it`s international or local business) 3. Audience size 4. Monetization strategy 5. Main features of your competitors

After this think how your product will be different. Remember, that users are your starting point.

If you know their pain points and ways how your product can make their lives better - you become closer to success.

fail to succeed

One of the main problems of startups is that they shoot in the dark. Entrepreneurs stuff the product with often unnecessary for the first time features without the knowledge if there is need for those.

“You cannot be sure you really understand any part of any business problem unless you go and see for yourself firsthand. It is unacceptable to take anything for granted or to rely on the reports of others.”

Eric Ries in his book "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses"

This is actually when MVP comes for help. It sheds some light on the market demand. It helps you to learn your users` feedbacks and change your product accordingly. The quote from the book mentioned above is spot on here.

“Build-Measure-Learn. The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop.”

  • Conduct a segment analysis

Segment analysis helps you to divide your clients into groups according to their needs, behavior, and even budget.

Then you have to choose what segments to serve. Only after this you can build a business model according to the specific needs of each segment.

  • Car type segment analysis

As we have already mentioned, the car rental market is crowded, so the only way to differentiate here is to specialize on a certain niche. By doing a car segment analysis you can choose a type of cars you platform will offer. The choice is wide enough: wedding and special events cars, photoshoot and movie car rentals, retro cars, muscle cars, sport cars, trucks, etc.

You can even specialize in only one type or model of car. Believe or not, but in such way you will attract a dedicated and targeted audience to your product.

For example, Silvercar app offers only one type of car - Audi A4, simplifying the often tedious process of choosing a car to rent.

Such differentiation will help you to stand out among your competitors and create the associations for your brand.

  • End-user segment analysis

While creating the MVP for car rental marketplace, it is enough to choose several services you will offer to your clients and check out what works more.

Here are some ideas

  • Transfer from the airport

Offer your users airport car rental right after they have landed in the town. Make the process of renting fast and intuitive with a lot of car rental options. The number of air travellers is rising, which will lead to the growth in this segment.

  • Corporate transportation

You can specialize in transportation services (daily charters, contract shuttles, group transportation, corporate road shows ) and offer reliable package delivery to different locations.

  • Event and employee transportation

Why not to offer transportation services to different events? To start with, you can even provide the services for free to create a recognition for your brand.

  • Tours and local usage

This segment has the largest demand, as most travelers prefer to rent a car when coming to a new city and explore it on their own.

Create a user flow

Before creating the user flow for your car rental app, choose one goal your users have to complete.

Then think about the stages that will lead the user to this goal. In your case, the main goal is to book a car.

Let`s see what steps the user has to go through in order to get to the final point.

apiko: car rental app user flow

Compose the list of features

Now it`s time to list down all the features that are necessary for each step in the user flow.

User Profile

  • Registration/Authorization
  • Car booking
  • GPS tracking
  • Сalendar
  • In-app notifications
  • Email notifications
  • Payment system integration
  • Referral programs
  • Reviews
  • Renting other vehicle types
  • Pick-up from the airport
  • Blog
  • Corporate car sharing
  • In-app car unlock
  • Past and current reservations
  • Payment details

Admin Panel

  • Manage the users (Validate users)
  • Manage cars
  • Accept/Decline reservations
  • Send in-app notifications

Prioritize the features for your MVP

When you`ve done this, arrange these features according to their priority and define the first scope of work.

Note, this stage is the most important. You need to have a strict understanding of what you will do first and don't deviate from the route you`ve chosen.

Here are the basic features you need for the Minimum Viable Product.

User

  • Registration/Auth
  • Car booking
  • In-app notifications
  • E-mailing
  • Payment system integration
  • Past and current reservations
  • Payment details

Admin

  • Manage the users
  • Manage the cars
  • Accept/Decline reservations

Time and cost to create car rental app

According to our estimate, the average time needed to build the MVP for car rental platform is 1529 hours depending on the complexity of the functions.

car rental app price.jpg

Remember that the price depends on different factors as your service provider`s hourly rate and location. For example, in the US rates for app development start from $100-150 per hour, while in Eastern Europe, where our development offices are located, you can hire a senior developer for $40-$70 per hour.

Read also - Without doubt, MVP development will help you to investigate your audience and customize your product to their needs.

Satisfied clients and unbreakable strategy - this is what you need to make your startup succeed!

Bonus: Download a free PDF checklist on what to do before you start a marketplace (or any other online business)

If you have any questions or just want to share your idea and get the advice, we are always open to the conversation with you.