India Self Drive car rental scene update-Nov 2019

This post is a quick roundup of my observations on Self drive car rental business in India, by end of 2019.

This year I haven't rented a car even once. Hardly undertook any road trip this year as there was lots of International travel. But I keep an eye on the industry and keep checking latest developments.

1. Myles Cars scaling down big time 
Carzonrent/Myles cars were one of the early self drive service providers in India- even before Zoomcar came into being. However looks like Mylescars is scaling down their self drive operation, probably unable to compete with Zoomcar
- Myles car is now down to some 9 locations across India, compared to some 20-25 locations they were serving an year ago. Chennai, Mangaluru and lots of cities are now removed from their website.
- Even in cities they operate, high end cars are gone. Earlier Myles had Mercedes Benz, Fortuner, even Ford Mustang in Bengaluru- now all of them are gone. Most expensive car is Creta/Duster/Innova types.
- Myles used to spam a lot last year- like some 500 Rs off on bookings above INR 7500- which wasn't really exciting. What I wanted was fair base price for the rental. But Mylescar messed up their policy trying to imitate zoomcar. Wrong strategy has probably let them down. Had they held on to their uniqueness (no kms limit and fuel excluded) they could have had sustained business from their loyal customers.

2. Royal Brothers has stopped renting cars
Bengaluru based Royal Brothers had a self drive cars division- renting cars from Driven.in. I had driven their Volvo S60 and Maserati earlier. Now looks like Royal Brothers have removed the cars from their fleet entirely and focusing on bikes alone.

However Royal Brothers have added some electric scooters and premium bikes to their fleet.

3. Driven.in has also scaled down
Royal Brother's partner Driven.in has also stopped listing cars in Bengaluru and their website shows "Arriving shortly". They do seem to have a Porsche in Hyderabad and some presence in other cities

4. Zoomcar is growing strong
Zoomcar on the other hand seems to be growing strong- Haven't noticed them removing cities or reducing fleet. They have increased minimum rental duration to 6 hours from 4 earlier. Their pricing is also fairly stable- weekday rental starting at around INR 1800-2200 for entry level cars with fuel and for 120 kms.

However Zoomcar also seem to have removed expensive cars like Audi Q3 or A and GLA Class they had on their fleet in Bengaluru.

Related posts: Zoomcar 2018 Policy Updates * Tips to minimize inconvenience while renting from Zoomcar

5. Revv seems doing good
Revv cars I've not noticed any major change and they seem to be doing good overall, competing well with Zoomcar

Zoomcar and Revv seem to be focusing more on their subscription business which gives a more guaranteed income. Read comparison of ZAP Subscribe vs Revv Open

6. Ola Self Drive is a new entrant
Ola has introduced self drive cars in Bengaluru- I need to experience it on my next visit.

7. AVIS is attempting a resurrection
AVIS also had self drive business way before Zoomcar came into being. I had rented Ford Endeavor, Innova and many other cars from them in the past. But somewhere they lost focus on self drive business. At present it looks like Avis is trying to put some focus back into self drive business.

But AVIS is charging a 28% GST + 3% Cess, their base rental without fuel is more than what Zoomcar charges for with fuel per day (120kms) and they need a deposit- so there's no price advantage with Avis and nor there's anything exciting about their fleet. So I believe they may not find too many takers unless they modify their offerings.

8. Drivezy: Seems to be doing well, maintaining their price a bit below Zoomcar and giving a fair amount of choices in terms of fleet variety. I am yet to experience their service- hopefully soon.

Johann Kuruvilla has updated that Drivezy has packed up from Kerala and IndusGo is the current market leader in Kerala, with expansion to KA and TN (check indusgo.in, they seem to have an almost zoomcar like design)

Number of complaints from frustrated customers is also on the rise- last minute cancellation, trying to charge for damage that was already existing, delay in reimbursement of fuel or other expenses, poor condition of vehicles and so on. I guess this represents only a very low percentage of cars being rented out, but with focus on volume and profitability, I guess individual attention is tough to provide and multi party eco-system means someone might always get disappointed.

There're many other self drive rental companies but I am not tracking them seriously. If you're aware of any major updates in addition to above, do comment.

Related: 10 most luxurious cars to rent in Bengaluru

2 comments:

  1. Any other rental companies which will rent out a Volvo S60 and Ford Mustang?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CHeck with Ramesh Tours and Travels. https://rtt.co.in/ Mustang listed by Myles was owned by them

      Delete

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