Car leasing/subscription: A boon during a pandemic?

The car rental industry in India is expected to reach a target of Rs 1000 billion by 2022, indicating that this trend is likely to grow in the foreseeable future.

November 24, 2020 3:20 PM
car rental

Let’s take a moment and recall how we used to travel every day to work or nearby places during pre-pandemic times. Those who did not own a car, could easily opt for public transport or book a cab to travel from location A to B. Unfortunately, a lot has changed since March 2020. The global pandemic has largely impacted the way we live and travel. As a result, our choice of mobility and transportation has changed too. With continuing health and safety concerns, public transport is no longer favoured in the way it was earlier in the year. So when it comes to hygiene, flexibility, and privacy, private transport is considered to be ideal.

Lucky are those who already own a car. But for the many who have felt the impact of the pandemic first-hand through job losses or taking a pay cut, purchasing a brand-new car might not be a feasible solution. This is where self-drive car rentals, car leasing, and subscriptions come into the picture.

A case in point: car subscription or leasing services have been gaining popularity with a large number of commuters opting for them during the pandemic. Moreover, the car rental industry in India is expected to reach a target of Rs 1000 billion by 2022, indicating that this trend is likely to grow in the foreseeable future. Therefore, it is posed to be the next big thing in the mobility front.

Car subscription/leasing services – a safe bet

With travel restrictions easing, people are gradually moving away from the confinement of their homes in the metros, to hill stations and staycations so that they can enjoy the scenic beauty while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Against such a backdrop, many commuters are signing up for self-drive rental car services or booking a chauffeur-driven vehicle. This lets them enjoy a sense of self-reliance in planning and taking any trip as per their needs.

Now that people have started moving from one place to another, maintaining social distancing becomes even more important. Commuters continue to be wary of how they travel, particularly when it comes to taking public transport or a cab. Therefore, leasing or subscription services are emerging as a viable option.

To accommodate the changing needs of the consumers, players in the car rental industry are offering an array of choices while ensuring a safe and hygienic travel experience. Using cutting-edge technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning), brands are keeping hygiene as their top priority by offering keyless entry systems, sanitizing the entire vehicle.

Also read: Own a Maruti Suzuki without buying it: Maruti begins car leasing in these cities

Other benefits

From a broader perspective, car-subscription models come with greater flexibility, with short-term rental periods and reasonable monthly or yearly subscription charges; another reason why leasing or subscription services are a more convenient and effective replacement for car ownership.

Leasing and subscription services offer a hassle-free experience with no down payment required and registration charges, maintenance costs, and road tax all included in the subscription plan.

With mobility in India undergoing a transformation due to the pandemic, it is clear that subscription and leasing are here to stay.

Author: Sunil Gupta, MD & CEO, Avis India

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not represent those of The Indian Express Group or its employees.

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