How much does it cost to develop a car rental app like Ekar?

by | Nov 12, 2022 | Mobile App Development

On-demand apps are everywhere. The quality, speed, and convenience of these apps make on-demand a popular business model across all industries. And one of these sectors is car rental. The growing car rental market in the UAE and other regions of the Middle East has increased the demand for car rental apps like Ekar. growing car rental market in the UAE and other parts of the Middle East

However, it takes a lot of work and cost to develop an app like Ekar. On average, the cost of developing an Ekar-like car rental app can range from $20,000 to $300,000 or even more. But what are the factors driving up the development costs of car rental apps?

Let’s shed light on the answer to this question in this article. But before that, let’s take a look at Ekar’s business model that makes it a successful company.

How the Ekar app works: the business model

Ekar is one of the largest autonomous mobility companies in the Middle East, providing users with on-demand access to thousands of vehicles through their mobile apps. Cars can be reserved by users in the form of short-term carpooling and long-term subscription rental.

It has a pay-as-you-go business model where users have the option to pay by the minute, hour, day, week, or month.

Launched in 2016 to fill the gaps in the car-sharing industry, car rental platform Ekar has raised over $17 million in investments to date and has become one of the most sought-after business models in the Middle East. East.

How much does it cost to develop an app like Ekar?

Several elements have a significant impact on the overall cost: the app’s platforms, features, technology stack, team structure, and overall level of complexity. Due to the fluctuating hourly rates of the developers around the world, the development costs of the car rental app are further impacted.

With such diversity and variables affecting the cost of the car rental mobile app, is it impossible to predict the full cost?

We estimate that an MVP version of the car rental mobile app will cost close to $20,000 to $100,000. However, if you decide to add some advanced features and functionality to the app, the development costs can go as high as $300,000 or even more.

Factors affecting the cost of developing car rental apps

Now that different factors including the platforms, features and technical stack affect the development costs of the car rental app, let’s try to understand all these factors in detail below.

Technical pile

To differentiate a car rental app from the competition, it needs the latest and most advanced technology stack.

  • Real-Time Analytics: Apple Flink, BigData, Cisco, Spark, Hadoop
  • Database: MailChimp, Postgres, HBase, MongoDB, Cassandra integration
  • Voice, SMS and Phone Verification: Twilio, Nexmo
  • Payments: e-Wallet, Stripe, PayPal, Braintree
  • Cloud environment: Azure, Google, AWS
  • Push Notifications:, Twilio

Team structure

To develop a car rental app that can work wonders for your business, it is important to hire an expert on-demand car rental mobile app development company like X-Strategy Services. The company would not only have experienced and efficient developers but also a comprehensive team of managers, testers and designers who would follow the best product development practices to turn your app idea into a successful reality.

The minimal team structure to develop a successful car rental app looks like this:

  • 2-3 Android and iOS developers
  • 1 UI/UX designer
  • 1 project leader
  • 2 quality control specialists

Location and hourly rates of the rented app development agency

The hourly rates of app developers around the world vary widely which affects the overall cost of developing an app like Ekar.

For example, hiring a developer in the US can cost between $150 and $250 per hour, while in Europe it can cost between $120 and $180. Unexpectedly, hiring a programmer in India costs between $ 40 and $ 80 per hour. Not to be misunderstood, a lower price does not mean a lower quality level. The only factor affecting the price difference is the country’s economy.

Features used in the app

Features are one of the most important factors that greatly influence the cost of developing a car rental app. While integrating basic features may mean low app development budget, adding some of the advanced features is a must to ensure success in the competitive can rental market.

In our next section, we thoroughly understand what features you need to add to your Ekar-like car rental application.

The essential features of the car rental app

When listing the features an app should have, it’s important to consider who will be using the app. The features of a rental car app should serve three audiences: drivers, customers, and app admins. Let’s see what features are must-haves to ensure your car rental app development flourishes.

For passengers

1. Two-Factor Authorization

Passengers must be able to register by setting a password and verifying it via email or contact number. It keeps their information safe and secure for use in the app.

2. Tailored rides

Ride settings must be customizable for passengers. They should be able to choose the pick up and drop off locations, pick up time, language, gender of the driver, etc. The application should prioritize customer convenience.

3. Live Vehicle Tracking

We should be able to follow each trip from the arrival of the driver until the end of the trip. These should also be shareable, as passengers want to share the live status of the trip with their loved ones for security reasons.

4. Road toll booth

Don’t limit your payment options. Try to include as many of them as possible, including credit cards, debit cards, UPI, cash, app coins, etc. Find out how to integrate payment gateways into mobile apps.

5. A fast travel matching algorithm

Based on preferences added by customers, the app should quickly match passengers to drivers and send requests.

For drivers

1. Driver accreditation

Driver documents and licenses must be verified when creating a profile.

2. Travel management

Give drivers options to manage their orders, find customers and accept/decline requests.

3. Route optimization

Optimize their maps to show the shortest route with little traffic so they can get a ride quickly. Learn how to add geolocation to your app.

4. Language settings

Give drivers English and other local language options to use the app.

5. Order and earnings history

You can view daily and monthly trip earnings for each driver.

For administrators

1. Interactive Dashboard

A dashboard is a must to display all the live data from the app in an organized way for you to work with.

2. Content management

Admins decide what goes where and what content is shown to all app users.

3. Revenue Management

Managers should be able to view the full history of all transactions and their earnings.

4. Vehicle type management

Managers need to get details of used vehicles, their types and rates.

5. Premium payment system

Administrators manage bonuses, benefits and discounts for passengers and drivers.

Advanced features to integrate into your car rental app

In order to stay ahead of the competition and stand out from the competition, it is crucial to add some extra and advanced features to your app. To keep development costs in mind, these features may be added after the successful launch of the Car Rental App MVP.

Camera Access – An in-app camera feature allows the user to easily upload the documents required to rent a car. For example, driver’s license, ID card and more. It also allows you to upload a photo of the damage to the vehicle at the time of pick-up. It can also help the user to quickly enter card details for payments.

CRM – A good customer service interface can take your application to another level. CRM integration allows administrators to maintain better customer relationships while launching promotional offers, emails, newsletters, etc. Here is a quick guide to the complete CRM implementation process for your business.

In-app chat – The most convenient way to communicate with vehicle owners is in-app chat. Enabling the user with different chat options such as text, video and voice chat is a feature appreciated by most of the users.

How to develop a car rental app like Ekar?

Developing the on-demand car rental app is a multi-step process. Before developing one for your business, you should consider the following KPIs.

Find your niche

Before developing an Ekar-like car rental mobile app, it is important to identify your niche, evaluate your concept, and include key features in the app. Consider the general outline of a car sharing app, then build your own on it.

Analyze the market

Local peculiarities, niche trends, legal difficulties, competitors and target groups, you need to do extensive research and calculate how you can start developing a car rental app like Ekar.

Do research

Job descriptions for designers and developers, including functional scope, frame structure, and project implementation technologies. This helps you in the development process. Before choosing an implementation strategy, you should conduct thorough research to make sure your project concept is technically feasible.

Find an app development company

One of your main goals should be selecting a software developer to design and build a car rental app. How they do their work will affect the success of your project. Examine the company’s technology stack, portfolio, and specialized services to remedy the situation. After all, these professionals put your ideas into practice.

Create an MVP

With the features and technology stack selected, the application development partner can build the minimum viable product with basic features and functionality. Steps like backend development, API integrations, and database creation can be taken to get real-time user feedback and get an idea of ​​how the app is performing.

Based on the MVP product features and their success, the development team will work to create the improved and final version of the application. This is the phase where the product can be optimized based on the review and challenges seen in the MVP.

Now that we’ve covered all the major factors that contribute to car rental app development costs and also discussed the process of developing a robust on-demand car rental mobile app, it’s finally time to launch monetization strategies to discuss Ekar type company. application. After all, monetization is the ultimate goal of any app development.

How to monetize a car rental platform like Ekar?

In order to be successful with your car rental business model, it is important to have a solid revenue generation model. Here are some monetization strategies you can use for your business.

Commission basis

Car owners can list their vehicles in car rental apps. App owners receive service fees as a set percentage of the owners revenue.

Service subscription fees

Like other on-demand services, car rental companies may charge a nominal subscription fee to provide advanced features to their premium and valuable customers. On the other hand, car owners who list their cars for sharing can operate on the basis of listing fees. Discounts and special offers may be offered to car owners with a higher number of cars listed.

Car rental

Companies can rent their own cars to app users to earn money directly, or rent them to drivers and employ them. Customers who pay for rides generate revenue for both the drivers and the company.

The Endnote – How can X-Strategy Services help?

The car rental app market is growing at an unprecedented rate. Below is Statista’s report on the growth of the global car rental industry between 2017 and 2025. The total revenue in the car rental market is expected to reach $110,894.2 million by 2025.

In the UAE, this sector continues to thrive. With a CAGR of 9%, investments in the sector continue to grow. The self-driving car rental segment continues to experience the fastest growth in the car rental industry with a CAGR of 12.4%.

When you consider this current and future market landscape of the car rental industry, now is only the best time for you to step into the space with a beating mobile app. However, to develop a robust app, you need to work with an experienced on-demand app development company like X-Strategy Services.

With nearly a decade in the industry, we have the experience and resources to turn your app idea into a successful reality. For example, for one of our clients, Bluemint Labs, we created a transformative on-demand application called ActiDrive. The app is designed to enable a safer driving experience by enabling completely hands-free setup on the driver’s mobile devices. The cloud-based app also tracks and records journeys for easy navigation using intuitive gesture recognition technology.

Contact us with any questions and sketch an idea and we can help you create your car rental software.

Frequent questions

Q. What are the benefits of a car rental app for my business?

A. Building a car rental app for your business can have many benefits. Among other things, it ensures transparency of travel data, automatic calculation of fares, makes car rental easy and improves customer satisfaction, among other things.

Q. What advanced features should a car rental app have?

A. You can allow in-app calls and panic buttons for the safety of both customers and drivers so they don’t have to share their real numbers and can immediately alert managers in an emergency. Provide easy accessibility and design a comprehensive app for a better user experience.

Q. What is the revenue model of the car rental apps?

A. Revenue streams from car rental apps flow through

  • Passengers – who pay for the trip
  • Drivers – get a commission
  • Price increases – in the event of a longer journey than expected due to weather conditions, traffic, etc.
  • In-App Advertising – Brands attract customers through your advertising and you earn profit.