Start an Online Car Rental Business Like Discover Cars


The rise in international tourism and disposable incomes in progressive economies have widely expedited online car rental businesses. This high demand for rental cars has outnumbered the supply of available rental vehicles, creating an opportunity for new entrants in the market. 

As per a report by Alliedmarket Research, the online car rental industry was valued at $92.92 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $214 billion by end of 2027, recording a CAGR of 10.7% during the forecast period 2020 to 2027.

Discover Cars is a key player in the global online car rental business and has experienced exponential growth pre and post-pandemic. In this article, we will be studying the business model of Discover Cars and other related factors to help you launch your own online car rental business. 

Table of Contents

About Discover Cars And Its Operations

Discover Cars is an international car rental aggregator that provides rental car reservations through its partners in multiple countries. Originally, founded as ‘Discover Car Hire’ in 2013, the company was rebranded as Discover Cars in 2019. 

To be precise, Discover Cars offers car rental services across 145 countries in 10k locations with its 500 partners. While search engines are the main source of organic traffic on the platform, a major fraction of traffic on Discover Cars also comes from meta-search engines such as Kayak and Skyscanner.

To rent out a car on Discover Cars, customers need to make a small payment upfront and pay the rest directly to the car owner at the time of delivery/collection. In case of any unconformity in the schedule, the customer can also skip the upfront payment and pay the complete amount at the time of delivery. 

The requirements for renting a car on Discover Cars include a valid driving license, a credit card, a confirmation voucher from the company, and a government ID for identity verification. Customers may also require their passports while booking a car in a different country.

Notable Features Of Discover Cars
• Price Comparison with Other Car Rental Companies
• Reasonable Security Deposit
• Free Cancellation up to 48 hours
• No Hidden Fees
• Insurance Coverage up to $3300

How to Start Your Online Car Rental Business Like Discover Cars

Entering into an online car rental business requires lots of effort, which can be simplified with strategic planning. Identifying the target audience, choosing the development approach, and understanding the revenue streams should be your major areas of focus while building an online car rental business. 

Below are steps that would assist you in framing a constructive strategy for your car rental business.

Assess The Business Idea

Write the business plan including the target audience, location, and long-term goals of the business. Subsequently, test the demand for your business idea considering the existing challenges in the market and how your business plans to tackle those challenges.

Also collecting information concerning your target customers will assist you in serving them better. You can prepare an easy survey and ask your customers general questions regarding their age, gender, location, profession, goals, etc. Having such information about the customers will help you shape your car rental services as per customer perspectives.

Apart from goals and challenges, you need to analyze the competitors already serving in the market and understand their Unique Selling Points (USPs). This will help you identify the areas for delivering better value and generate initial business.

Select the Car Type

The type of cars your rental business deals with is subjective to the target location and preference of the customers. Depending upon your target location and customer needs, you can select a specific car type for your business.

Apart from the locational preferences, you can start a luxury car rental business for business trips and particular events such as wedding ceremonies, etc. The rental service for luxury cars is an often unnoticed domain having huge potential to drive revenue.

As per a study conducted by Fortune Business Insights the luxury car rental business is projected to grow from $49.4 billion in 2021 to $71.4 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 5.3% in the forecast period 2021-2028. 

Multiple instances where people hire luxury cars are

  • Wedding Ceremonies
  • Honeymoon
  • Business purposes
  • Birthday Celebrations
  • Recreation

Being the main stakeholder of the business, you should invest enough time deciding the type of cars your business will be lending.

Ready to launch your online car rental business?

Challenges Faced By Online Car Rental Websites 

Online car rental businesses also face several challenges that are subjective to their business models, geographic location, and revenue models and can be overcome accordingly. 

Below is the table that lists the general challenges faced by car rental companies along with their solution.

Challenge Fix/Solution
Dealing with Overseas Customers
  • – Can hire drivers who have experience with non-native speaking customers.
  • – A car rental software with multi-currency and multi-lingual support can also resolve the problem.
  • Platform Complexity
  • – A simple and clutter-free interface for all user types can help greatly. Also, additional features such as car comparison and rental add-ons should be added.
  • Brand Visibility
  • – SEO and digital marketing feature to help you prepare and implement an effective branding and digital marketing strategy.
  • Risk of Damages and Theft
  • – Rental security management module for reimbursing any damages.
  • – Car insurance for covering theft.
  • – Product inspection module for verifying documents like driving license, identity proof, and address proof.
  • Business Models Suitable for an Online Car Rental Business

    You should frame a concise business model pertaining to your business idea. Two popular business models for the online car rental business used by global car rental companies are direct business-to-consumer and peer-to-peer. Let us further elucidate the terms below:

    B2C Business Model For Online Car Rentals

    In a Business-to-Consumer car rental business, the business owner owns the fleet of cars and lists them on his platform for renting. The customers can rent out cars from available options for a pre-decided duration of time after completing the documentation process. 

    Since the B2C car rental business has limited car options so there is less flexibility in pricing, restricting the scalability of the business. 

    P2P Business Model For Online Car Rentals

    Peer-to-Peer is the most flexible, scalable, and profitable car rental business model that does not require the business owner to own a single car. Instead, individual car owners list their idle cars for renting from which the business owner earns a commission. 

    Here the main task of the business owner is to simplify the entire car rental process with administrative features and end-to-end management. 

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    Development Approaches To Build A Car Rental Website

    Depending upon your technology and feature requirements, you can select the right development approach to build your online car rental platform. Generally, there are three main development approaches. 

    Custom Software Development Approach

    This approach involves building everything from scratch. The business owner submits the requirements to the development team and the developers then share a proof of concept with the client. 

    Contrary to SaaS and readymade rental solutions, tailor-made software supplement the innovation in features and flexibility in design. 

    What concerns the business owners while opting for the custom software development approach is the long development phase (6-24 months on average), the complexity of code, change in technology trends, huge development costs, and technical proficiency. 

    Software As A Service (SaaS)

    SaaS solutions come with ready-made templates, which can be personalized as per business requirements. The end platform is hosted by the SaaS solution provider itself, who is also responsible for managing the server, database, and code to maintain security, scalability and performance.

    When choosing Software as a Service for your car rental business make sure you are provided with extensive support and documentation. The major drawbacks of choosing a SaaS solution for your car rental business are never-ending subscription charges that increase as your business grows, low data security, and strict compliance to platform policies. 

    Readymade Car Rental Solution

    Readymade car rental solutions come with dedicated modules to launch your car rental business. Factors that make readymade solutions stand out from other development approaches are one-time costs, dedicated modules for rental operations, customization in design and a lifetime license. 

    Opting for an efficient readymade rental software can save you huge development costs and time by providing high-end customizations with no compromise in design as well as features.

    Revenue Model For An Online Car Rental Website

    Diverse revenue streams in a business make it financially stable. As per financial experts “The revenue streams of your business should be diversified in a way that a single source of revenue should not be accountable for more than 15% of your total business revenue.” 

    For a new car rental business, multiple revenue streams mentioned below can be adopted to reduce the business risks and ensure financial stability. 

    Rental Commission

    Rental commission from car owners is a major source of revenue for online car rental marketplaces. The commission is a preset percentage of the total rental amount earned by the car owner.

    Every time a customer rents out a car, the platform automatically deducts a rental commission from the overall rental fee.

    Registration Fee 

    The admin of the car rental business can also charge a periodic or one-time amount from car owners as a registration fee to list their cars on the platform. 

    Subscription Packages

    Subscription models involve charging a recurring fee from customers and car owners for providing additional offers and discounts. For example, you can allow car owners to upload cars at a discounted price in a subscription package, or charge them lower commission charges. For customers, you can provide them with rental fee discounts and other offers such as parking fees and insurance. 

    Display Advertisement

    Having an ample amount of traffic on your car rental business can help you earn through paid advertising. You can display visual ads of other related companies in your industry and charge them advertisement costs. 


    While launching a car rental business may seem challenging at first, with all parameters figured out, it is easier to materialize your business idea. Once set up, the next thing you will require to focus on is identifying your USPs, branding, digital marketing, and getting the first few essential customers. Later, with help of your platform’s in-built tools, you can scale the business while delivering a satisfying car rental experience to your customers.
    Yo!Rent is a readymade car rental software with the help of which you can launch a fast and captivating online car rental store. To streamline operations, Yo!Rent comes with advanced rent-centric features such as a booking calendar, rental security management, late cancellation/returns charges, bulk volume discount, document verification, car comparison and more. Lastly, Yo!Rent also supports unlimited listings, transactions and user profiles. For more info, feel free to check our demos.

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