January 9, 2020

How peer-to-peer car sharing companies can increase efficiency and reduce cost

Charlotte Kosche

Sr. Content Writer

Peer-to-peer car sharing businesses have a major competitive advantage over other car sharing and car rental companies: they don’t own the vehicles that customers share on their platform. This allows them to keep acquisition and maintenance costs as low as possible while providing value not only to renters but to vehicle owners, too.

But even with a technology-first focus, a sharing economy mindset, and a clear competitive advantage, many P2P car sharing platforms still struggle with building a successful business. This is why companies like Turo and Nabobil use the Smartcar API. Our technology allows them to increase their customer experience, their operational efficiency, and their profits, all the while focusing on what’s important: changing the face of car ownership.

1. Simplify the customer experience

When onboarding new customers, peer-to-peer car sharing platforms let vehicle owners link their cars to the app with Smartcar’s technology in the background. Connecting a vehicle takes only a few clicks in the car sharing app. Vehicle owners don’t need to install any aftermarket hardware in their cars and they don’t need to be trained on how to use Smartcar’s technology.

Immediately after their vehicle is linked, car owners can share their vehicle’s location, mileage, and even their car keys with renters directly in the app. Vehicle owners and renters won’t need to arrange a time to meet, and they won’t need to exchange physical car keys. Instead, renters can locate and unlock the cars they book directly from their phones.

2. Reduce field operations

Car sharing companies are able to not only simplify the rental experience but also to save money that’s otherwise spent on local on-the-ground teams in hundreds of different locations.

Unlike other keyless solutions, Smartcar’s technology is hardware-free. Vehicle owners don’t need any help installing or learning to use OBD-II dongles or other devices. Instead of building local installer networks that assist with hardware installation and maintenance, companies are able to dedicate those financial resources to their core business, product, and engineering teams.

Vehicle owners and renters also need significantly less support managing the pick-up and drop-off process of each car rental. Car sharing businesses that use keyless technologies don’t need as many staff members to help improve the customer experience on-site. As vehicle owners and renters don’t need to meet and exchange car keys, they can easily communicate and manage the entire rental remotely via the car sharing app.

3. Eliminate hardware cost

By using hardware-free solutions like the Smartcar API, car sharing businesses are able to save the money they would otherwise spend on acquiring, shipping, installing, maintaining, and replacing hardware devices. Hardware bears a large initial acquisition cost and can turn into an unpredictable expense factor, for example, if vehicle owners stop renting out their cars but forget to return their devices. APIs, on the other hand, offer simple SaaS pricing that is easy to scale with product usage and business growth.

This is how our customers have been able to optimize their business and to improve their customer experience using the Smartcar API. Head to our website to learn more about our API for car sharing, and reach out to our team for a product demo.

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