How Car-Sharing Services Might Trump Over Car Ownership In S’pore

Carsharing was one of the pioneering ideas of the sharing economy in Singapore.

From the convenience of renting a private vehicle by the hour or day to choosing the vehicle to suit your needs, the flexibility offered by carsharing services has attracted customers.

In addition, the hourly prices for car sharing at the station are very competitive compared to the prices of traditional car rental services.

It has steadily grown in popularity as people reminisce about their transportation needs versus the costs of owning a car.

Singapore “remains the most expensive place in the world to buy and run a car,” according to a 2019 global cost of living survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The outlook for carsharing is positive as Singaporeans begin to turn to these services without the financial commitments and responsibilities of owning a car.

Who are the carpooling players at S’pore?

1. Tribecar

Tribecar
Image Credit: Tribecar

Launched in March 2016, Tribecar has the most diverse rental vehicle fleet, including motorcycles, vans and trucks.

Currently, they are also the largest in-station carsharing service in Singapore with more than 400 locations and nearly 500 vehicles.

They achieved all of this within four years of their inception and without funding. In 2018, Tribecar achieved a record 50% growth in sales of S $ 7.5 million.

Their rates start from S $ 0.50 per hour for its “ Super Economy ” category, making it the cheapest service on this list alongside Shariot.

One thing to note is that you need to return the car to the exact parking lot where you picked it up. You also have to return the car above the fuel reserve indicator, which means you have to bear the cost of fuel.

2. BlueSG

BlueSG
Image Credit: BlueSG

Launched in December 2017, BlueSG is the pioneer of electric carsharing services in Singapore.

It currently has a fleet of 667 shared electric Bluecar vehicles and 1,487 charging stations at 374 locations across the island, from public housing to downtown and shopping areas around Singapore.

At first, however, it only had around 80 Bluecars and 30 charging stations. It is now the second largest electric carsharing service in the world, behind Autolib ‘.

Unlike most carsharing services, BlueSG adopts the “point A to B” model. This means that you don’t have to return the car to the same place you picked it up.

Plus, because it’s pay-per-use, you only have to pay for the duration of the trip and you don’t have to pay gas or parking charges.

3. Automobile club

Automobile club
Image Credit: Car Club

Car Club has been in existence since 1997 and is the leading car sharing platform in Singapore.

There are over 110 Car Club stations and a fleet of over 260 cars across Singapore, which must be picked up and dropped off at one location.

They have different car sharing price plans to suit different users. The Value plan is ideal for frequent users, while the Basic plan is ideal for light users. They also have a plan for women, which offers lower rates than the basic plan.

The distance charge includes gasoline costs, but users must return the vehicle with at least a quarter of the fuel tank. Fuel can be recharged free of charge using the Esso Speedpass attached to the vehicle key.

4. Drive lah

Drive lah
Image Credit: Direct Asia Insurance / Screenshot from ‘Drive lah’ website

Drive lah is the first peer-to-peer carsharing platform in Singapore which allows private car owners to rent their vehicles.

They currently offer daily, hourly and long term rentals.

On their website, they have over 1000 cars listed. The rental fees for each car differ, as the respective car owners are free to decide the daily rental rates.

There is an additional fee to cover insurance and platform development, paid to Drive lah.

To collect the car, you must meet your host at a designated pick-up point, and after the hour is up, you will need to return the car to your host.

The collection process can also be made even more convenient if you opt for cars that are Drive lah Go compatible.

These cars are installed with a device that allows the user to unlock the car without a key, as well as the tracks where the car goes.

Drive Lah claims their rates are “30-40% cheaper” than traditional car rental companies. However, since gasoline is chargeable per use, the user must return the vehicle with the same level of fuel.

5. Shariot

Shariot
Image Credit: Shariot

Shariot is the latest player in carsharing in town, which prides itself on having one of the lowest fares among other carsharing services in Singapore.

Similar to CarLite, they allow short term rentals as quickly as 15 minute bookings. Charges are based only on vehicle class and time of reservation.

According to Shariot, their rates range from S $ 1 per hour (super off-peak hours; 12:00 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) to S $ 10 per hour (peak hours; 6:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.).

Cars should be collected and dropped off at the same location.

Gasoline charges are pay-per-use and users must ensure that the vehicle’s fuel level is over a quarter of the tank when returning.

6. WhizzCar

WhizzCar
Image Credit: WhizzCar

WhizzCar has 15 years of experience in providing carsharing services.

They have a fleet of 170 cars and 58 stations, and the pickup and drop-off must be at the same station.

WhizzCar rental rates are the same throughout the day and week, except for rental during opening hours.

Their prices differ by membership plan and car type, but include gasoline charges. The user must refuel at any Esso gas station using the Speedpass attached to the key before returning the car.

7. CarLite

CarLite
Image Credit: CarLite

CarLite is one of the new players in the market, but its prices are competitive. They allow 15-minute bookings, which is ideal for anyone who only needs the car to cover short distances.

Fares are S $ 1-2 for every 15 minutes, which is a good deal if you drive home from the supermarket and don’t want to take public transport with bags of groceries in hand.

There are five levels of cars to choose from. All levels are self-pumped and fuel costs are the responsibility of the driver.

Here are the fleet sizes and prices for each player:

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

The car-sharing penetration rate in S’pore is expected to increase

According to Statista, user penetration is 6.8% in 2021 and is expected to reach 8.5% by 2025.

Due to Covid-19, demand for most ridesharing companies here has increased, as commuters may prefer to travel in private vehicles to avoid jostling with crowds on public transport or sharing trips with others. .

During the first phase of the circuit breaker release in June 2020, Tribecar’s revenue increased by 40% while Whizzcar recorded a 20% increase.

BlueSG rebounded from its loss suffered during the breaker with a 50 percent increase in rentals.

Ucars
Image Credit: Ucars

Drive lah saw its monthly revenue increase by 20% in April and May during the breaker, and the number of active users rose from around 5,000 in April to 7,000 in June.

All companies share the same sentiments – carsharing is seen as a “safer option” during this pandemic, resulting in increased demand.

With this, it is no surprise that car sharing increases even more during the Covid-19 period.

Is carsharing the future of S’pore?

Carsharing is growing in popularity, with revenues expected to reach US $ 130 million (S $ 173.5 million) in 2021 and show an annual growth rate of 9.9%.

By 2025, the forecast market volume is expected to reach US $ 190 million, showing great potential for carpooling.

One good thing about carsharing is that it takes away the long-term liabilities that come with a depreciating asset like a car. This is especially prevalent in Singapore, where the high costs of owning a car may not be achievable over time.

Cars
Image Credit: Posb

A new standard Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6 costs S $ 96,888 as of November 2020. $ 2,434 in gasoline costs.

A recent discovery from the Car Club shows that most cars are underused and sit idle in parking lots 80% of the time. Drive Lah’s research further confirmed that Singapore logs 11,520,548 idle car hours per day.

Unless you need to drive frequently, owning a car is not a practical expense. As a result, many people are starting to rethink their transportation needs in relation to the costs of owning a car.

Carsharing can also bridge the gap between public transport and private vehicles.

For some trips, walking, biking or using public transport would suffice, while for more urgent or even more routine activities in between, carpooling is a better option.

Plus, carpooling gives you the option of paying only for use, gasoline, insurance and maintenance.

From an environmental perspective, carpooling means less carbon dioxide emissions because it results in fewer cars on the roads.

Finally, according to recent statistics from Data.gov.sg, there are over 2 million qualified driver’s license holders in Singapore.

This represents a great opportunity for companies and startups looking to gain a share of the carpooling market in Singapore.

Featured Image Credit: BlueSG / Shariot / WhizzCar / Car Club / Drive lah / Tribecar

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Jothi Venkat

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