Mon | May 27, 2024

New web-based car rental marketplace launched

Published:Saturday | April 20, 2024 | 12:08 AMAsha Wilks/Gleaner Writer
Founder of Arah Rides, Karl Simms.
Founder of Arah Rides, Karl Simms.

KARL SIMMS, founder of Arah Rides, is looking to revolutionise the car rental marketplace.

In an interview with The Gleaner yesterday, Simms stated his desire to establish a new way for people to find vehicles to rent.

By leveraging technology, Arah Rides seeks to satisfy the needs of customers who frequently struggle to find rental cars, particularly during peak travel seasons.

It does this by providing a safe, easily accessible medium that boasts a listing of a wide range of vehicles. In addition, customers are provided with increased convenience and 24-hour customer service support in finding the ride of their choice.

Launched on April 2, Arah Rides connects registered car rental companies with local clients and visitors of Jamaica who are allowed to list on the platform free of charge.

“The differential between Arah and a traditional car rental company is that, with the traditional car rental company, you’re booking a vehicle category versus, on Arah, you’re booking the actual unit that you’re seeing on the platform. So, for example with the traditional car rental company, you would book a compact car but you have no idea what you’re getting until the day you show up,” Simms explained.

He shared that this was a concept he developed in 2017.

“I did some research to find some mechanism or a tool that would allow registered car rental companies in Jamaica to try and get them all in one place where they will be able to list their units ... and [individuals] would be able to book their units, very similar to Airbnb’s,” he added.

The platform’s interface allows its users to search for and book vehicles anytime, from anywhere, with ease. They are also able to personalise their bookings, choosing from a variety of pickup and drop-off locations throughout Jamaica, or revise booking schedules and view their vehicle ahead of time.

“In some instances, some of them (companies) don’t have a website and so they can take the link from their profile on our website and place it on their social media pages, which then allows folks to then book their units directly from the site as well. So, we’re providing communication tools within the platform where the communication between business and customer can be done,” he said.

Simms continued that, since being launched, there has been a large volume of users visiting the website. Additionally, he noted, his partners within the industry have expressed their enthusiasm at the potential of this online marketplace.

“[They are] very happy about joining us and even some of the bigger names, such as Apex Car Rentals ... Swift Car Rentals and a few other companies that have been around for quite some time who have joined the platform, are looking to grow with us as we get the word out,” he added.

Persons interested in making connection with Arah Rides can contact them through their website or across all social media platforms @arahrides.