Road congestion and pollution are two of the most tenacious and seemingly insurmountable transportation challenges of the modern city—and both problems are growing by the day. As cities screech to a halt every morning, people are forced to think of lasting solutions that can solve this nightmarish problem once and for all. Car renting and sharing are often seen as better, smarter and environmentally friendlier alternatives to car ownership. As more and more people relinquish car ownership, the congestion and pollution on the roads will automatically plummet.
Ownership of a car comes with its share of troubles—monthly EMIs, insurance, maintenance and annual depreciation of value.
Globally, the younger generation is increasingly moving away from an "owned" economy to a "shared" one. And it applies to cars too. Urbane professionals increasingly prefer to drive rented vehicles, giving up the burden, expense and responsibility of owning a car. They also rent cars for vacations and weekend getaways.
As we all know, ownership of a car comes with its share of troubles—monthly EMIs, insurance, maintenance and annual depreciation of value. Living in metros is a challenge in itself and hence it makes absolute sense not to increase your commitments. This is where self-drive car rental services come into play. They allow users to have control of the car and drive if they want or even hire a chauffeur for the day.
Further, young Indians are hopping cities like never before. And, they do not want to be immobile in a new city. As the average Indian becomes more aware, the demand for better services at best prices will increase manifold.
It is interesting to note that even as car ownership rises, thanks to the population, the trend of renting self-drive cars is also rising, particularly in cities such as Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi and Pune. As of now, most of these rented cars are used by people who want to go on short trips to neighbouring places or for business and personal purposes. The attraction lies in being able to drive high-end cars at an affordable price while avoiding dealing with a driver and paying extra charges.
Over the last couple of years, several self-drive car rental companies have cropped up, providing people with an alternative to owning a personal car. We strongly feel that the Indian mindset about renting a self-drive car has undergone a paradigm shift over the last couple of years. India is now ready to take that leap from being a predominantly personal car market to a market that is asking if there is an alternative to it. They are understanding that a car is not an asset but a liability.
The attraction lies in being able to drive high-end cars at an affordable price while avoiding dealing with a driver and paying extra charges.
Having said that, it is true that owning a car has traditionally been a status symbol in India. Also, it guarantees the advantage of flexibility as you can use it anytime of the day and for however long you want to, for wherever you want to go to. You don't need to call, book and wait for a vehicle to arrive. But, it is still a depreciating asset. Buying a car means paying an EMI and a down payment. You may drive your car for only 200 days in a year, but you have to pay for all the 365 days. On the other hand, once you rent out a car and use it for only 20 days, with three-four hours per day, you only pay for that much time.
Other factors that are moving people away from car ownership include high interest rates that are making vehicle financing expensive, bad roads and nightmarish parking conditions. Even monthly leasing of cars is cheaper than buying a car, for that matter. In addition, it can be a challenge for many people to shell out for a car loan. Besides, it's just fun to drive different cars!