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14 November 2021

How to Build a P2P Car Rental App Like Turo?

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The car sharing market is a rapidly growing industry in the global economy. According to the Allied Market Research, report, in the next few years this market will add 12% per year, according to the Zion Market Research — 13.5% per year. The growing popularity of car sharing also means the growing popularity of sites that offer this service. In this article, we’ll show you how to use this trend by creating your own P2P car rental application like Turo.

Step 1: Value Proposition

Turo reduces car rental costs by removing intermediaries

Car rental. A value proposition is the benefit that your service brings to the customer. In the case of the Turo app, these are the following benefits:

  1. For car owners - additional income.

  2. For tenants (drivers) - car rental at a reasonable price.

For example, on Turo, you can rent a BMW M3 for only $ 75 a day; on traditional sites, renting a similar car costs $ 150-200 (for 8 hours). A simple car on Turo can be rented for $ 5-20 a day, depending on mark and location.

Reducing the cost of rental is achieved by reducing the number of intermediaries: only the Turo application is involved as a platform that brings the car owner to the tenant, and indirectly a bank or other payment service if payment is made via the Internet.

Safety. Owners are often afraid to give their cars to unknown people for security reasons, because they do not know if the tenant is a tourist, businessman or car thief. To build a successful car rental application, you need to create a safe environment for such deals.

In Turo, this problem is solved due to the fact that the service assumes responsibility for a complete verification of the identity of the tenant (and the car owner as well). That is, if a car is stolen, then Turo is obliged to compensate its cost. Turo's rival, Carsharing, requires all users to register through social networks using live accounts.

Other services, for example, Drivy do not allow young and / or inexperienced drivers to rent a car on their site. At the same time, almost all such applications, including Turo and Carsharing, use a rating system and reviews to filter out unreliable users.

Insurance. Turo provides a $ 1 million liability insurance policy that protects the car against damage during the rental period. You can find out more about the insurance policy on the service website. Insurance conditions are shown in the following table:

Insurance terms on the Turo service

When developing an application for P2P car rental, you must obtain a license for insurance activities or enter into an appropriate agreement with an insurance company. RelayRides (the first name is Turo) did not do this, which is why the New York State Department of Financial Services in 2013 ordered them to cease operations in New York before obtaining a license and was fined $ 200 thousand.

Step 2: Business Model and Monetization

Key Details of the P2P Car Rental Business Model

Business Model. Turo is a peer-to-peer (P2P) car rental site. Anyone can register their car on the service in order to rent it to other participants of the platform. When registering, the car owner indicates the location, price and time when the vehicle is free. The driver, in turn, reserves time and pays the rent to the owner.

Turo service acts as a venue for a meeting of the parties and at the same time provides some additional services (party verification, insurance, car delivery, administration, etc.) in exchange for 10-35% of the rental cost depending on the level of insurance coverage and duration rent.

Deal may be concluded:

  1. In person. Car owners personally meet with the tenant drivers to give the keys, check the documents and make sure that this is a real person. The signing of the contract and financial calculations in this scheme can take place both on-site and through the web service.

  2. Turo, Drivy and some other similar services have found safe solutions that allow you to transfer the car into the hands of the driver without the need for a personal meeting. This requires additional investments from the owner of the vehicle, but the costs usually pay off quickly, since keyless access increases the number of rental transactions.

Monetization. In such a business model, the site usually earns on commissions that are charged when booking a car and / or paying rent. However, this method of monetization can be used only if financial settlements pass through the application. If the calculations take place off the platform, profit is obtained through the following:

  1. Advertising. The service can provide a place for banner advertising of third-party services or services and promotion of auto owners' ads within the service (the place at the top of the listing and recommendations, a more noticeable ad, etc.).

  2. Subscription. The application may provide additional services in exchange for a monthly / annual subscription. For example, a service can limit the number of ads and remove this restriction for connecting a subscription, provide a GPS tracking service, instant engine shutdown, etc.

  3. Paid services. The service can take delivery of the car to the driver-tenant or return it to the specified place after the expiration of the rental period. In addition, you can charge an additional fee for the extension of the rent contract or insurance, a deeper inspection of drivers, etc.

  4. Services for large companies. Some car rental applications introduce special subscriptions / services for large providers. For example, the LetGo application has a LetGo Pro subscription for car dealers with the ability to receive calls from customers through the application and automatically updating the listing.

Step 3: User Roles and Functions

The eight essential features of a car rental app like Turo

The Turo app works with three types of users: car owners, drivers who want to rent a car, and administrators who manage the platform. Creating an application following the example of Turo, you need to develop a service that can differentiate the functions of these roles.

Tenant User Panel. The interface of users who want to rent a car. For them, a pleasant design, speed and ease of finding the right car and the security of financial transactions are important. In addition, such users appreciate the availability of a rating system and reviews.

Basic features for tenant drivers:

  1. Registration and login. The user can register an account by phone number, email or through social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Google.

  2. Personal profile. The section where you need to specify your personal data: name, surname, age, place of residence, information from the driver’s license, length of service, driving experience and the like.

  3. Search filters. Users can search for a car by its name, category, brand, price and some additional features: GPS-sensor, air conditioning, a place for a child, a place for attaching a child car seat, security level and more.

  4. Booking system. Schedule of car availability (time, date, location) and the ability to submit a request for its reservation and confirmation of the application.

  5. Tips / help. A short tour with pop-up messages that introduces users to the features and capabilities of the application on first launch or at will.

  6. Payment system. Needed to pay rent, advertising, subscription and additional services. If the financial calculations for the rental pass through the application, you need a system of charging fees.

  7. Ratings and reviews. The ability to evaluate the quality of the car and the attitude of the owner of the car. It is advisable that only those participants who interacted with the one they rate could give a rating and give feedback.

  8. Real-time messaging.

Car Owner Panel. The way the car owner sees the application, who wants to rent it out on your site. For him, simplicity, speed of listing creation, completeness of descriptions / selection of transaction conditions and the ability to track your car are important.

Basic features for car owners:

  1. Registration and login. Create an account using a phone number, email or social networks.

  2. Personal profile. A place to enter personal data and with the ability to add a description of the car with photos, documents and the cost of rent.

  3. Owner panel. Here, car owners can specify and change the availability schedule, add and delete photos, and also view and analyze some statistical data of their past activity and relationships with tenants.

  4. Ratings and reviews. Car owners can evaluate the drivers with whom they collaborated and leave feedback about them. This will help other car owners decide whether to give their car to the driver or not.

  5. With it, car owners can communicate with tenants, ask questions, clarify details and arrange a meeting place.

Admin panel. All of the above functions must be connected to a powerful backend, which is responsible for processing and storing data. To control the interaction between the mobile client and web databases, you will need an admin panel.

Basic functions for the administrator:

  1. User management (car owners and tenants).

  2. List management (creation, approval, editing, rejection).

  3. Car management (brand, brand, specifications, mileage, etc.).

  4. Manage your reservation (track availability and refine it).

  5. Location management (country, state, region, area, city).

  6. Management of payment gateways, payments, and transactions.

  7. Manage blogs, comments, reviews and ratings.

  8. Management of static pages (about us, privacy policy, how it works, user agreement, feedback, etc.)

  9. Manage ads and subscription packages.

  10. Reports (user, transactions, listing reports).

Step 4: Advanced Features

Turo Go device allows you to transfer control of the car remotely

The basic functionality is enough for the application to bring car owners and tenants together to conclude a car rental transaction. However, this is not enough for the success of the application, since the functionality of competing applications provides similar capabilities, if not great ones. In order to stand out among them, you need additional features:

  1. Mechanism for remote control of a car. Usually this is an electronic device with an identifier and a locking mechanism, which can be unlocked using a special bluetooth and / or wi-fi signal coming from a mobile application. Such a mechanism eliminates the need for physical key exchange, which reduces the time to conclude a transaction from 60 to 5 minutes.

  2. Allows you to monitor the condition of the car at a distance and automate some processes. For example, you can track fuel consumption, speed, shaking, the condition of some devices, temperature, etc., and then use this data when transferring the car back to the owner.

Step 5: Developing MVP

Once a conceptual prototype based on ideas and functionality has been created, it needs to be tested in practice. For this, Minimum viable product (MVP), an application with minimal functionality, is best suited. With it, you can check the performance of the product and get a quick connection from potential users.

To develop MVP, you need:

Technical stack:
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