Testing Car Rental Websites

Don't allow your customers to find your errors before you do!

Car rental reservation systems are constantly evolving, and few car rental companies can say with 100% certainty that their systems are currently error free and user friendly on all devices. But what about when updates to vehicles, rental locations, promotions, ancillaries, rate calculations, loyalty schemes, online check-in process and so on are implemented?

Can you be sure that they work as intended, and that no new errors occur?

Testing Car Rental Websites

Car rental booking system analysis, especially for global companies with customers and locations situated in multiple different countries, can feel like a never ending process due to innovations, and changes in fleet, locations, pricing, promotions, insurance and ancillary options, legislation changes, etc.

How these systems are tested, whether it be from a user or functional perspective, or user acceptance testing is a challenge for each company. Finding resources with the right skills, knowledge and capacity to handle each testing requirement is not easy, but a quick call to discuss what you need could help you fill those gaps in your testing.

📞 Call or read on...

Cutting corners by not testing your website is a risk not worth taking...

Testing car rental websites takes experience, a structured plan, patience, discipline, and a curious analytical mind.

Testing websites takes experience, discipline, a structured plan, and a curious analytical mind.

Testing Car Rental Websites

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There are many chances to get it wrong!

Renting a car online requires customers to go through many touchpoints, from the moment they decide to they need a car and begin searching, right through to when they return the car at the end of the rental.

At any point in the process there is the chance to lose customers by things which can broadly fall under the categories of poor design or errors.

No two customers have the same requirements, but whatever their needs, the online reservation process needs to make their experience as easy as possible. If we fail in that objective, potential customers are likely to leave your website and go elsewhere.

So getting it right with a well designed, user friendly, error free customer journey is essential. That means each part of the process needs to work as designed under all conditions, regardless of what type of customer they are, what their needs are, and whether they're using a desktop, tablet or smartphone to make their reservation.

How can testing help?

From the search and selection of rental locations, pickup and return dates, vehicle selection, pricing and rate calculations, age restricted vehicles, ancillaries, insurances, offers and promotions, loyalty schemes, confirmation emails, etc., finding errors before your customers do is pretty important, right?

Have robust testing procedures in place is therefore critical, and those need to be carried out frequently, because car reservation systems are constantly being updated, and that comes with the risk of introducing errors.

More to it that you think?

Testing car rental websites may appear simple on the surface, but when you consider the different types of customers, their needs, where they're from, and where and when they intend to rent, things become a little more complex than a linear buying process.

Also take into account things like:

  • The customers age.
  • Are they responding to a special offer discount?
  • Are they in your loyalty scheme? Maybe they want to join it.
  • Are they booking directly on your website, or as part of a package whilst reserving a hotel room or buying plane tickets?
  • Maybe a travel agent or corporate account manager is booking on behalf of a client.
  • Do they have an existing reservation which they want to amend?
  • Do they want to change the dates, add a child seat, additional driver, take out excess waiver insurance cover, or get directions to their pickup location?
  • Maybe they want to cancel their reservation.
  • If cancelling or amending a reservation involves refunds or additional payments, how are those handled?
  • Are there different options, restrictions or procedures for the above for different types of customers?

Besides these typical scenarios there could be an infinite number of variations in the customer journey, and without thorough testing it could leave your customers and yourselves vulnerable to errors, complaints, and worse.

Try it yourself with a free checklist!

This checklist contains nearly 400 checkpoints, and won’t cost you a penny!

Download Checklist

Wouldn't it be easier to handle all customers in the same way?

Testing Car Rental Websites

This free car rental checklist could help you get some clarity, and it might even give you ideas of features and variations to factor into your existing reservation platform.

It’s free... no catches, no strings attached, and no small print, but feel free to reach out if you need help.

Different platforms require a different approach

Some problems might exist only on mobile, some only on desktop, and some on both. Some errors might not be caused by the actual website or app, but could be related to problems with the back end systems, such as availability or pricing issues, rate calculations, and many other things.

If your car rental platform is completely bespoke, you'll need a testing process as bespoke as your platform. But not all platforms are completely bespoke...

Some car rental websites are built on platforms by third party companies such as Carcloud, Linakis, Coastr, HQ Rental and Camasys and those will require a different approach. Their respective customer journeys are just part of the picture, but the way they communicate with other systems should also be taken into account and be tested.

Testing based on customer type

Customer focused testing

In all cases we need to consider the needs of those customers who make up your target market. But what do we mean by customer type and wouldn't it be far easier to handle all customers in the same way?

What do we mean by customer type?

Wouldn't it be far easier to handle all customers in the same way?

Wouldn't it be easier to handle all customers in the same way?

Testing Car Rental Websites

It would certainly be easier to treat all potential customers in the same way, but it would also be unwise.

For example:

  • A couple in their mid twenties wanting to rent a 2 seat convertible for a weekend in Nice will have different needs to someone looking for a vehicle large enough for his wife and two children for their family holiday in Florida.
  • Another customer might be familiar with your booking process, but he will be renting a vehicle for a holiday in a country that he has never visited before. So he might also need to know about insurance options, local laws and other relevant advisory information.
  • A young driver renting a car for the first time might not realise that his age could restrict which vehicles he's eligible to drive. Those restrictions can differ from country to country, and can also incur a young driver surcharge if they're within a certain age range.
  • There might be differences to the reservation path for loyalty scheme members compared to guest customers, or your customer might be reserving a car as part of a package which is tied to a flight or hotel reservation.

So being able to identify customer types and tailor the reservation flow based on their specific needs is important, and using Customer Personas is a very useful way of helping you to focus on who your customers are and what they need.

Why outsource testing?

Full time resources can be costly, and depending on the nature of your business, they might not be required all the time. That can make dedicated testing resources less cost effective than other options.

What's more, many in-house resources tend to work office hours, and might neither be available or committed to work at unsociable hours and at weekends.

Experienced outsourced testers...

  • can be more cost effective than employing full time dedicated testers.
  • only require paying for the work they do.
  • are fully accountable for their contributions.
  • can bring with them experience, industry knowledge and best practices.
  • can provide you with the availability and flexibility you need, when you need it.


Outsourcing certainly has its advantages, but it's understandable that you could be concerned about confidential information being shared between companies who use the same external resource.

Trust and discretion are paramount, so let me assure you that:

  • All work is undertaken in the strictest confidence
  • NDAs are welcome
  • No plans, projects, processes or company information is shared or discussed between clients, nor made public in any way.

I can help with your car rental website testing

With more than 20 years developing, managing and testing global car rental websites for Hertz International, I am highly experienced in testing every aspect of car rental websites, whether it be on core reservation platforms, car rental mobile apps, third party platforms and broker websites, or as part of airline booking paths.

Don't leave bug finding to your customers!

Remember this...

If a bug makes it to the customer, it's either because the quality team missed it, or you didn't have anyone test it. So whether you have a one off need for testing, or need ongoing testing and collaboration for new sections or features being added to your website, get in touch.

All work is undertaken in the strictest confidence, and NDAs are welcome.

Reviews and Testimonials

Daron has the unique ability to recognize and avoid potential issues that others on the team may have overlooked. He is undaunted by large, multi-system projects and recognizes the importance of seemingly small projects being the lynchpins to facilitate not only the larger projects but to keep the daily processes running smoothly.
(L.M. via LinkedIn)

Read the full review and more of my personal reviews and testimonials and feel free to get in touch if you think I can help.

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