With the advent of technology, consumers are now given options when they need a car. From ride-hailing apps that engage private-hire drivers to car-sharing, this expectedly lead to the question of the place of a traditional car rental company in today’s market. While technology is providing alternative car consumption habits, this does not at all render traditional rental car companies obsolete. Instead, it has allowed our different needs to be met by the variety of services.
In the following, we help you analyse the two forms of car service, so you could determine which of them better suit your needs:
Car-sharing, at first glance, seems affordable when examining solely at the hourly rates. It is great for those of us who only use it from time to time due to impromptu errands that may occur e.g. the occasional laundromat run when you’re cleaning the bedsheets. On some occasions, we may also have a last-minute requirement. Electric car-sharing companies address this unique problem with cars that can be driven off from their charging points with a simple online registration. To sum it up, car-sharing is a viable when it is the more economic option for such short-term usages of the car.
Car-sharing consumers tend to run multiple errands consecutively because it allows them to reduce cost of car usage. This may work in cities with densely distributed amenities but may be less feasible for towns and cities with amenities widely distributed. While car-sharing services maintain their fleet of cars around the city, availability of cars is also dependent on demand. An ideal car capable of transporting that mountain bike or canoe may not always be available. When one is time-strapped by urgent matters, we may not have the time to get to the location where the fleet of cars are parked – nor do we get access to a dedicated concierge service round the clock that is ready to serve at notice should any traffic or vehicle incidents occur. To prevent any allergic reaction which may cause to users of this service, car-sharing companies also do not allow your pets on board.
Conversely, car rental makes a great economic option for those of us who need and use the car on a regular basis. E.g. Grocery shopping, sending to and picking the children from school, family activities, etc. One also does not have to face uncertainty each morning when a car is needed to send the children to school and to get to work. As the cars from rental companies are exclusive for the driver once it is rented, there is no need to worry about unpleasant surprises from odours not caused by you or a non-functioning air-conditioner. In contrast with car-sharing, the certainty and availability 24/7 means one could get going to places with the necessary equipment more quickly and surely. There is also no need to leave the family pet out of the fun. If one is heading outside the city or country, long-term rental cars typically do not need notification to be given while shared cars would typically need an application beforehand.
In comparison with car-sharing, rental for short-term usage of a car for 2 hours is unlikely to be practical given the steps required to get to the rental company and the paperwork needed before one could get on the road. A rented car is also less economical for usage that lasts a few hours or only a handful of times each week. However, in reaction to the shift in consumers’ needs, car rental companies in Singapore today such as BizLink Rent-a-Car also offer competitive rates for short-term car rentals for usage that is less than a full day.
In short, car sharing is great for irregular and/or infrequent car usage that lasts only a handful of hours while car rental is more economical for mid to long term usage, coming with it benefits of convenience, reliability and a suite of after-sale services exclusive to rented cars.