Want to join the fast-growing on-demand economy? Car or ride-sharing application development is a promising idea. However, you need to develop something valuable and unique since there are many strong players in this market already.

Let’s start developing the best app for car sharing with an overview of the essential features you need to create. The only thing that will remain is to add an innovative experience to make your solution sought-after.  

Is Car and Ride Sharing Really Demanded?

In a nutshell, yes. The on-demand or sharing economy will reach $335 billion in revenues by 2025. For comparison, this figure was only $14 billion in 2014. Car-sharing services have already taken their place under the sun of the new economic model, and this market will also grow dynamically. As for the recent coronavirus pandemic, this event slowed down car-sharing services some but did not critically impact this market. 

Here are more statistical insights on carsharing and ride-sharing usage on the wave of popularity to date. 


Car Sharing and Ride Sharing - What’s the Difference

Despite the apparent similarity of concepts and business models, car sharing and ride sharing have one difference.

Car sharing means the ability to rent your car for a specific time, while the renter, as a rule, acts as its temporary driver.
Ridesharing means the ability to share the passenger seats in your car with people who need to get to a certain place at the same time as you.

Both of these business models perfectly fit the on-demand economy, but car-sharing app features will be slightly different from a ride-sharing app’s functionality.

Car Sharing App Features Depending on the App Type

Let's analyze what basic and additional functionality you can create for the car-sharing and ride-sharing app business.

For a P2P carsharing app

The essence of P2P carsharing is that you create a platform through which individuals can temporarily rent their cars to other users. This business model’s benefit is that you do not need to have a fleet of vehicles - you act as an intermediary and receive a commission on every transaction you make. Turo is one example of such an application.

Here are the features for the car-sharing app you will need to create in this case.

Sign up
Personal profile for a car owner
Personal profile for a leaseholder
Car listings
Book a car
Payment system
Maps and location tracking 

For a B2C carsharing app

The B2C carsharing app’s business model differs from the P2P because, in this case, the company acts as a lessor of its own cars. This is a rather profitable idea for a startup if you have a private fleet but do not want to hire drivers to create a taxi service. Users act as drivers in the same way as in the P2P carsharing app. Car2Go is an application built according to the B2C car-sharing business model.

Here is a list of essential functions for this type of application.

Sign up
Personal profile
Book a car
Payment system
Maps and location tracking 

For a ridesharing app

The opportunity to share your trip with someone else is a great initiative, plus it's a way to save on gas, make a small contribution to the environment, and slightly reduce road traffic. The key essence of ride-sharing is not about net profit, but about saving money and resources.

What is more, it is a great alternative to public transport, the schedule of which can be inconvenient for passengers. Plus, crowding in public transport is unsafe in the current environment.

For this reason, the creation of a ride-sharing startup is also a promising idea, especially in regions with a poorly developed transportation infrastructure. Bla Bla Car is one of the most famous examples of ride-sharing apps. 

Here are the features of the ride-sharing app you need to create. 

For a driver

Personal profile
New trip creation
Passenger’s bookings management
Setting a price and receiving a payment

For a passenger

Searching for a driver
Book a seat
Online payment

For a taxi service

Although taxi services are not classic examples of car sharing, it would be logical to say a few words about them in this article. Moreover, the market leaders of on-demand transport services successfully combine the possibilities of car-sharing, ride-sharing, and taxis. For example, all these features are available in Uber, plus UberEat - a service for the fast delivery of food. Yandex Taxi is a classic example of a taxi app, and here is a list of essential features for the solution of this type. 

For driver

Personal profile
Orders pool
Take an order
Maps and geolocation
Chat with a passenger

For passenger

Personal profile
Maps and geolocation
Taxi ordering

Admin panel features

All the apps types listed above need an admin panel. The Admin panel allows an app creator to manage all the processes inside the app. So the list of its features will be customized for each type of app. Here is the basic set of features that should be embedded in an admin panel.

Dashboards and statistics. This section allows administrators to manage current tasks and analyze statistics. 
CRM integration. A CRM system is necessary to manage your users, gather their data, develop personalized offers, and send emails and notifications. 
Payments. Depending on the monetization model, there should be an opportunity to pay the person that drives or shares their car. 
Fraud protection. Transportation services apps imply sharing data about the car, its characteristics, and location, plus sharing personal and financial information. All of this should be protected. 

Additional features

If you want to add innovative car-sharing and ride-sharing app features, here are some to consider embedding to improve your app’s user experience. 

Recommendation engine. This AI-powered tool can track and analyze users’ behavior and make smart suggestions about users’ needs. 
Rating system. Some users feel anxious when facing the necessity to call a taxi or share a ride with a stranger. In this case, the rating system for drivers may be useful since it allows other users to evaluate the driver’s behavior and share their feedback after the trip. The recommendation engine mentioned above may also suggest the best drivers to passengers making the user experience even more enjoyable. 
Flexible pricing and bonuses. Modern users love flexible pricing. They love discounts and bonuses too. Take this into account when developing the set of features and working on your marketing strategy. For example, it may make sense to offer the first ride for free, or create personalized strategies for each user and offer them bonuses for each new trip or referral. However, your app functionality should have room for customized marketing strategy development. What is more, it will be necessary to use AI marketing tools, which are sometimes costly but effective. 
In-app payment. A lot of taxi, car, and ride-sharing services suggest users pay with cash for a trip. This requirement can be very annoying for modern users,  and especially Generation Z representatives who prefer to use digital money. Paying for a trip within the app with a credit card or mobile wallet is a very simple but very useful idea. 
Multilingual support. If you want to reach the foreign market, it is always better to talk to your potential users in their native language. In this case, support for several languages and currencies will be especially useful. 


On-demand application development is a promising idea since, very often, it allows you to solve the user’s problem with your application. Most on-demand businesses don’t require you to have any other assets in addition to your app. However, keep in mind that your car or ride-sharing app will become popular only if it meets users’ needs in some innovative way.