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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Selfdrive car rentals India: Updates from Zoom and Myles

This post shares a set of new items related to self drive car rental business in India

1. Zoomcar to launch soon in Gurgaon: Bengaluru based startup Zoomcar, which is less than 2 years old, had launched their second location at Pune earlier this year. Now they are gearing up to launch their 3rd location, this time up north in Gurgaon.  Soon people in NCR will have more options to rent a car and zoom around. Exact details are not known yet. Stay tuned to Zoom's facebook page for more updates.

2. Zoomcar also raised USD 8 million recently. (That is about 520 cars worth Rs 10 lakh each). This funding would surely enable them to expand to new cities and add more cars and locations. 
3. Zoomcar has recently added a fleet of Honda Amaze. Also brand new 2014 Mahindra Scorpios are getting inducted one by one.

However, couple of Zoom pricing policies are deterring me from renting from them as often as I could have otherwise- Rental that includes fuel but 240km limit per day and additional per km charges. If I use for only 50kms a day, I am paying unnecessarily extra for 200kms, fuel cost for which was factored in the rental amount. There’re times when I log 500+ kms a day-paying just the rental and buying fuel myself makes more cost economic option. At least optionally, Zoom should offer a rental scheme that doesn’t factor fuel or usage limits. 

A sample illustration is below, for renting an Ecosport for a day. Zoom is way cheaper on a weekday, but clearly, for my weekend long drive needs, zoom is often very expensive. 
Usage
Zoom weekday
Zoom Weekend
Carzonrent (any day)
100kms/day
Rs 2400 Rent* = Rs 2400
Rs 3600 Rent* = Rs 3600
Rs 2300 rent+ Rs 362** fuel= Rs 2662
240kms/day
Rs 2400 Rent* = Rs 2400
Rs 3600 Rent* = Rs 3600
Rs 2300 rent+ Rs 870 fuel= Rs 3170
400kms/day
Rs 2400 Rent* + 2400#=Rs 4800
Rs 3600 Rent* + 2400=Rs 6000
Rs 2300 rent+ Rs 1450 fuel= Rs 3750
600kms/day
Rs 2400 Rent* + 5400#=Rs 7800
Rs 3600 Rent* + 5400=Rs 9000
Rs 2300 rent+ Rs 2175
fuel= Rs 4475

*240kms worth fuel included in rental, use it or lose it.
Rs 15 Per km charge thereafter, no need to buy fuel
# in many cases it is economical to rent for another day than paying per km charges
Only 5k deposit
Easy to book, edit, modify
125kmph top speed limit
Deposit varies from 30-50k
Edit and cancellations are a pain
No speed limit.
**Fuel expense calculated at Rs 58/litre and 16kmpl

4. Meanwhile, Zoomcar’s archrival, Carzonrent is also upping the ante. Carzonrent has added Tata Nano twist to their fleet in Delhi & few other cities (Not yet in South india). With a daily rental of Rs 450 (+fuel extra), it is sort of cheaper than airport taxi. Why spend 1000s of rupees on airport taxi? Just rent a Nano on self drive, use it for couple of days, drop it back while catching your return flight. Even for quick rides around the city, Nano Twist is a pretty cheap and convenient option (Now it has power steering, read my detailed review of Twist here.

5. In another development, Carzonrent earlier had lowest rentals in Delhi. Now the honor goes to Bengaluru. In May 2014, I could rent a Swift Dzire in Delhi for about Rs 1600 a day. Now Dzire costs Rs 1920 a day in Delhi. (Read about my 5 day 5 states 2000kms road trip here) Similarly rental for other cars have seen slight upward revision in Carzonrent locations all over India. (Mahindra Thar in Goa now costs RS 3500+ taxes, it was 2500+ taxes in August). However in Bengaluru, rentals have been very competitive. I attribute this to competition, none other than Zoomcar. Carzonrent Bengaluru has also added lots of new cars- Ford Ecosport titanium, Figo, Safari etc are some of the newly added cars that weren’t present 6 months ago.

6. However Zoomcar's Pune entry hasn't affected the competition. Two main self drive car rental players in Pune - selfdrive.in and carzonrent haven't lowered their prices after Zoom began Pune operations. Nor do I see any changes in their fleet.

7. In Chennai, carzonrent Myles has added a new location- Chennai airport. Now if you're visiting Chennai for a day or two, renting a car on self drive will be more practical than hiring airport taxi. (a taxi rental from airport to say Nungambakkam can cost close to 1000 Rs one way. Whereas for Rs 2000, you can rent a sedan (Etios GD) for whole day (fuel extra).

8. In case you've not read it, do read how you car drive a Merc without robbing a bank. 

So the self drive rental scene looks far more exciting today than it was 2 years ago.  Watchout for a Bloomberg story on this topic soon [update: Story is live here ]. Best wishes to Zoom's 3rd location launch. I have been contributing a few guest posts on Zoomcar's official blog, which you can check out here

3 comments :

Roshini Balu said...

Nice cars with wonderful mileage, and rentals also good, i thing if anyone have a ride in your cars they ll fell very comfortable even you can get car rentals in chennai.with reasonable rental cost.

Anonymous said...

I went to try out zoom in Delhi. They are carrying yellow letters on black number plates instead of the mandatory black letters on yellow HSRP plates.

I guess just a matter of time before cops start to fine customers.

What a hassle.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Even Carzonrent gives yellow board vehicles in Delhi. I think the RTO there doesn't subscribe to yellow on black scheme that exist elsewhere