Car-Sharing Service GetGo Launches In S’pore
There are already seven carsharing players in Singapore and it is about to heat up with the entry of a new GetGo player, which launched today (February 25).
While newbies may be put off by the saturation and competitiveness of the market, Toh Ting Feng, managing director and co-founder of GetGo, believes this is more of a timely launch.
“We believe there is a certain level of awareness and maturity in Singapore regarding carpooling thanks to our fellow carpooling operators,” he said.
“With the accelerated changes brought by COVID-19, we believe now is the right time to launch, (in) what we believe to be the next evolution of carsharing in Singapore.”
Over 14,000 registered users before launch
Asked about the feedback and interest ahead of the launch, Ting Feng said “it has been upsetting”.
“We had over 14,000 registered users even before our official launch,” he added.
Beyond the long pre-subscription list, GetGo also built up a social media follow-up of nearly 5,000 followers in a matter of months.
Building on the strong interest, GetGo conducted a public beta test to get feedback from its early adopters to identify improvements in order to continue improving the service.
The existing car-sharing community has also been extremely supportive of their upcoming launch, with many providing them with places they hope to see GetGo cars.
Ting Feng believes that by providing a superior user experience, early users will actively share on its service.
Users can take advantage of their referral system, which allows both the referrer and the new user to receive a S $ 5 promo code once the new user has completed their first reservation.
It’s part of the company’s multi-faceted customer acquisition strategy, he added.
Eliminate the cost and hassle of owning a car
After observing the carsharing ecosystem for several years, Ting Feng noted that there is a “clear gap in terms of (car) ownership and (the) desire to drive” in Singapore.
He mentioned that the country has a population of private vehicles (including taxis and private rental vehicles) of only around 650,000, while we have a population of licensed car drivers of over 2 million.
“A lot of people want the freedom to drive. However, buying and owning a vehicle is a heavy financial burden both at the point of purchase (especially with rising COE prices), as well as ongoing costs of ownership (road tax, insurance , parking) ”, explained Ting Feng.
“Often times, private vehicles are idle at home or in the office, but many people still bite the financial bullet to have the convenience and freedom of a vehicle when they need it.”
Carsharing aims to eliminate the costs and hassles of owning a car, while providing the flexibility to drive a car when needed.
There is also a growing awareness of environmental issues, which gives additional impetus to reduce car ownership.
Additionally, the advent of COVID-19 last year has resulted in increased demand for carsharing. Indeed, private cars are seen as a safer option to avoid contracting the virus, as opposed to public transport and carpooling.
The trend of working from home has further accelerated this demand.
“When we looked at the quality of existing carsharing services, we felt that we could create a superior service to drive wider adoption of carsharing, and this is how GetGo was born,” Ting Feng said. .
“Our service and platform have been designed and built to tackle the specific issues of existing carsharing users and to remove barriers for potential new adopters. We are convinced that a simple, flexible and accessible carpooling service, operated on a significant scale, will be a legitimate and serious alternative to owning a car. “
Go with GetGo
The GetGo app is free to download for iOS and Android devices.
Unlike most services which require a few days for account approval, GetGo users with a SingPass account can sign up for an account and have it approved instantly through the use of MyInfo.
For those who do not have MyInfo or prefer not to use the service, there is a manual registration process.
With the app, users can book, unlock and lock vehicles without the need for an access card or retrieving a physical key.
Plus, since all GetGo vehicles feature keyless ignitions, users simply need to press a button to start the engine and drive.
GetGo users must be at least 19 years old and have at least one year of driving experience with a valid Class 3, 3A or 3C driver’s license.
While there is no membership or deposit fee, GetGo charges a S $ 200 “pre-authorization” fee – this is common practice in the ridesharing industry.
The S $ 200 will not be charged to the user’s debit or credit card. Instead, it will be returned to the user immediately after each trip ends.
It should be noted that GetGo operates on a round-trip A-to-A carpool model. When asked why, Ting Feng said that “an A-to-B service is not financially viable” without significant operational scale and user adoption.
This is evident from the losses suffered by existing A-to-B operators, some of whom have unfortunately had to close their operations.
“As GetGo begins as an A-to-A service, our intention is to grow our operational scale, user adoption, partnerships and technology to a point where A-to-B service becomes achievable.”
How much does it cost?
GetGo adopts a “pay-as-you-go pricing model”. This means that users are billed after each trip for the duration and mileage costs incurred.
Rental rates for “standard” cars like Honda Shuttle, Toyota Sienta, Mazda 3, and Ssangyong Tivoli start at S $ 3 per hour during off-peak periods (12:00 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. daily).
Rates can go up to S $ 9 per hour during peak periods (6:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. weekdays, as well as 6:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. weekends and holidays).
In addition, GetGo’s entire fleet of vehicles is equipped with advanced telematics that enables predictive maintenance and refueling operations.
Since gasoline is supported by GetGo, this means users don’t have to pay for gasoline and refuel for each trip.
When it comes to encouraging responsible use, GetGo penalizes users who cause inconvenience to other users. They may be fined or, in more serious cases, be banned from using the service.
“Encouraging responsible use will remain our priority as we want to instill good behavior in the community and as much as possible avoid having to resort to sanctions to maintain community standards,” said Ting Feng.
“By using a combination of community reviews and preventative technologies, we will be able to identify and deter unwanted actions.”
From 400 to 1000 cars in 2021
The founding shareholders of GetGo invested a “six-figure figure” to start the business in August 2020.
With a launch fleet of 400 cars at 300 locations by the end of March, GetGo hopes to expand the fleet size to 1,000 vehicles at more than 600 locations across the island by 2021.
Its current fleet already includes a significant number of hybrid vehicles, but they plan to “gradually electrify it”.
As such, GetGo plans to work with more fleet partners, including potential strategic partners, eager to supply electric vehicles.
It also plans to work more closely with government agencies and private parking operators to move towards a sustainable “free-float” model, or point A to B model.
In the long term, Ting Feng said they aim to “reduce the demand for vehicle ownership by 10,000.”
By taking vehicles off the road, GetGo aims to help Singapore free up its economic resources for more productive activities and protect the environment, in line with the government’s car-lite master plan.
New GetGo users can get $ 5 off their first ride with the code “GETGO5OFF”.
Featured Image Credit: GetGo
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