Car hire service claims first with mobile-led technology to provide wait times

Industry’s firsts are always tricky to gauge (it’s just PR, after all, a lot of the time), but here’s one that many travellers – if true – could find extremely helpful.

USRentACar, a UK-based online car rental service targeting US-bound traveller, is claiming a new service which works by using data collected from its mobile app users is indeed a first for its particular part of the industry.

The idea is pretty simple.

Customers using the site’s mobile application (iPhone and android) to manage their bookings are asked when they have collected their vehicle at the pick-up point to quickly press a button on the service to send a message back to the company notifying them how long they had wait.

The data is then fed directly back into the main website so that users get an  average waiting time indicator served against all search results for a particular location.

The notification is also posted on the app itself.

Managing director Gavin Boswell says:

“So you’ve just landed after a ten hour flight and the wife is already giving you ear ache about how long she’s been sat in the same spot (like its all your fault?) and now the kids are screaming because they’re tired and someone has just elbowed you in the ear while scrambling to get their bags and all you really want to know is HOW LONG IS THIS ALL GOING TO TAKE DAMNIT!”

Flippancy aside, this is a decent example of using on-the-ground mobile technology to support and help customer decision making elsewhere.

This isn’t the first time that a company in the car hire sector has tried to use technology to focus on the inevitable waiting times passengers often experience at airports, for example.

In 2009, EuropCar installed Microsoft Surface tables at a number of airports as part of a trial to give passengers something to do when waiting to pick up their vehicles.

The tables featured route planners, a booking service and information about the vehicles on offer.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. Taxi to JFK

    It is totally justified. Me too find it disgusting to wait when I have already hired a cab. The time notifications strategy will definitely give a positive blow to people like me. 😀

  2. ® Car Hire USA Blog » Blog Archive » In The Media

    […] travel tech site, Tnooz wrote this article regarding the Wait Time feature yesterday […]

  3. Patrick Mulder

    Great initiative. Hopefully everyone will have a nice data roaming agrementso the information can be posted. Or will the app save the offline data and send when online again?

    • Gavin Boswell

      Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for the compliment. We were very aware when designing the app not to add additional costs to our customers.
      The data can still be collected offline and uploaded to our site once the customer comes online again.




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