Today we’re looking at the app ‘Car Rentals Market’, and as the name suggests, this little ditty intends on helping Android users to find and confirm a car rental for their travels.
I guess an app like this has many possible users, from both business and leisure environments, so from a design perspective a safe and sensible choice has been made.
The app works on a ‘Book Now – Pay Later’ basis, so from what I gather, this is primarily a deal finder. On viewing the ‘About’ page I am led to belive this is also a hotel finder, but I’m not convinced this is the case. “You can also find and compare car rentals from over 25 major car rental providers” seems a more accurate description for the intended use of the app. It’s good to see company details and a customer service number offered in-app, a re-assuring sign that the app isn’t just cobbled together by a one-man band, rather, here we have a business that thrives on bringing travellers and car rental deals together.
Exiting the About page, I return to the app home screen, which in effect, is the gateway to this Car Rental search engine.
Their apppears to be a global choice of destinations, simply select the ‘Pick-up’ Location field and search for your desired airport, city oor zip code. The search works over the network so I would recommend connecting to Wi-Fi, loading destinations from the database seems quick enough, so little to complain about there. On searching ‘Paris’, I am presented with a range of possible (or should I say related) pickup points, prioritized by Airports and then Cities containing the keyword ‘Paris’.
After completing the remaining required fields (date of pick-up, time of pick-up, date of drop-off etc.) I hit ‘Search Cars’ and proceed to the search results page. For my desired location I am presented with a list of motors. For each result I am presented a thumbnail/graphic of the car, a term that describes the type of rental (i.e. convertible, economy, compact, luxury etc.), the name of the company and the cost of hire. The cost of hire is very helpfully broken down by day and then total for the hire period.
I am able to sort this list by price (handy for the budget or business traveller) and then further refine the results to only show cars from a certain type or company. Good if you prefer one brand over another, or a hatchback over a 4 x 4.
On clicking through to the first result I am shown some useful pictures of the vehcile, inside and out. Oddly though, I am not given a car make or model number, just a couple of points on what the car has to offer (i.e. transmission type, air con, number of passengers). For some, this might be enough to make a booking on, but for the more considered traveller I’d expect a bit more blurb. I’m guessing this is because it is too early to confirm availablitlity of a particular make or model?
Scrolling through the Car Summary I can see my confirmed destination, pick-up and drop-off times etc. Also, the app gives me a ‘Directions’ link so I can quickly produce driving directions to the pick-up point – perhaps more useful on the return journey when I will actually be driving a car? Still, it gives travellers an idea for the locality of the pick-up point on arrival.
To the foot of the summary are the confirmed estimated charges for the hire. For this particular Paris hire the app has converted the price from dollars into EU, which again is helpful. My only suggestion would be to somehow apply this exchange rate to the search results page – which appears to default to USD?
At the very bottom of the car summary page the user make his or her booking. As stated, this is a ‘Book Now – Pay Later’ app, so only initial driver details are taken at this time. Travellers pay the rental company on arrival.
Overall I like this app. It has been professionally developed and designed and doesn’t bloat the experience with advertisements or annoying pop-ups. I do think the app could benefit from traveller reviews and perhaps a bit more information on each vehicle. If I have missed this information along the way, feel free to correct me.
I would feel confident booking a car rental with this app, but would probably feel it necessary to follow up my first booking with a phone call, just to confirm all was received ok. With travel, you can never be to cautious!