Modern life is busy & hectic. Everybody needs immediate solutions at their fingertips.
This is even more applicable for internet users.
No matter if it’s a product, service, or information, people want to search, compare and make their decisions quickly.
Car rental services are no exception. Those who need cars on hire prefer to go to a car rental website and make their booking hassle-free.
If you too own a car rental business, you must have a website to enable your users to make their bookings online.
Why a website is so important for your car rental business?
- People want a certain level of а mobility & comfort when they are traveling. A car rental website can enable them to search dozens of options on the go and make their instant booking online.
- A car rental website helps users not only to book their desired cars but also allows them to change or cancel their bookings instantly, with or without a cancellation fee.
- Your car rental website can also serve as a “customers care” tool for your clients.
- Your users can see immediate updates of the live fleet availability on your car rental website.
- Having a car booking website can help to reduce human errors.
- Since the booking & cancellation process on your car rental website is automated, it also helps you to save money on additional resources.
- You don’t need to rely on any staff to produce important reports for you such as sales, orders, cash flow, etc. All of this can be done through your website.
Now that you know that a car rental website can really help your business to manage & grow efficiently, you must plan to invest in your website development.
It may look like an investment initially (although you will be surprised to know about the website development cost when compared to investing in a brick-and-mortar business), but in the long run, it will definitely save a lot of operational cost and infrastructure cost for your business.
But before you hire a website builder to create your car rental site, you must know about the essential features without which your business may not be able to operate efficiently.
In this blog post, we have shared 7 essential features that your car rental website must-have.
Let’s dive in.
#1 Robust Booking
The booking feature is perhaps the backbone of any car rental website.
The more robust & accurate the booking system is, the better will be the conversion rate on your website.
The booking system on your car rental website must:
- Allow users to search different cars based on their chosen dates and timings.
- Allow users to enter any special remarks.
- Allow users to view the brief yet all the important details of each car on the listing page.
- Allow users to view full details of their desired car.
- Allow users to initiate booking hassle-free.
- Have the booking form short & simple.
- Not ask the users to register before confirming their booking.
#2 Easy checkout
The ability for the users to checkout and pay for their car booking is essential for conversions. The easier a checkout system on any car booking website is, the more conversions it gets.
Here are some ideas that your website builder can implement on your car booking website to ease the checkout process:
- Avoid using long forms and eliminate unnecessary information.
- Offer guest checkout for those who don’t want to register with your website.
- Provide social login to fasten the checkout process.
- Split the form into 2 or 2 steps so that it looks clean & clear to the users.
If you already have a car booking website and not getting enough conversions in spite of ample traffic, try to optimize your checkout process. It may do wonders.
#3 Terms & conditions
All the required terms & conditions must be shown to the users before they confirm their bookings. You may also make it mandatory for the users to accept your terms & conditions before they pay & confirm the booking.
Why terms & conditions is so important?
- You need to comply with certain regulations of your business, so making your users accept terms & conditions is essential.
- In order to avoid conflicts with your customers, you need them to know about your terms & conditions.
- To protect the interest of your business, you do need to have terms & conditions accepted by your customers.
Which is the ideal location for showing terms & conditions?
You may show terms & conditions at the footer of the website. Also, you can provide a link to your terms & conditions page below the booking form and make it a mandatory field for the users to check in order to confirm their booking.
#4 Payment summary
One of the major reasons for the high booking abandonment rate on any car rental website is unexpected costs or surcharges.
If you do want your customers to pay any surcharge or additional charges, do mention these items on the car listing or car detail page so that your customers should know about them.
Any unexpected charges on the final checkout page can make your customers shocked & surprised. They even feel being cheated. As a result, they may quit your website immediately and may never return again.
Don’t let this happen.
Try to split & elaborate the payment summary on the car detail page itself to avoid any confusion or disputes.
#5 Booking confirmation
When the customers pay for their car booking, they expect to get some sort of confirmation from the car rental company.
But when they don’t get any such confirmation, they may get worried and call you to confirm whether they made the payment to a genuine company or not.
It would be ideal to send a booking confirmation to the customers when they make a successful payment.
You can ask your website developer to initiate a booking confirmation slip to be sent to the customers via email & SMS upon successful payment.
The booking confirmation email should include:
- Customers’ personal details
- Car pickup & drop location
- Booking dates & time
- Vehicle details
- Detailed breakup of the car booking amount
- Any additional accessories, if required
- Link to terms & conditions
#6 Modification & cancellation
Your customers may have wrongly entered some of their details while making a booking or they may wish to change the booking dates.
Perhaps they may want to cancel the booking.
Your car rental website must allow your customers to make necessary modifications or cancel their bookings.
What benefits do you get when you allow your customers to modify or cancel their bookings?
- Your customers don’t need to call you or email you and wait for a reply.
- You don’t have to do any manual work like checking the next available dates or changing the customer details. All of this can be made automated and can be done by the customers themselves.
- Your customers feel confident to book & pay on your car rental website when they know that they can modify or cancel their bookings anytime.
Of course, you charge some amount from them for making any cancellation according to your business norms.
Whatever cancellation amount or percentage, your website developer can build this feature so that you don’t have to get involved and the website will do all the calculations on its own.
#7 Easy reporting
Reporting is perhaps one of the crucial areas where most online businesses lack.
In the absence of robust & multi-dimensional reporting, you will need to maintain all the reports yourself, manually.
If you want to stay away from the manual work of reporting, you can ask your website builder to add a reports section on your website’s backend.
Through this reporting section, you can view & download any report for any time period / date-rage.
Below are some of the essential reports that your car rental website must be able to execute:
- Total bookings for any specific date range.
- Total customers
- Total vehicles & their inventory
- Total cancellations