How Car Rental Companies are Changing the Face of Shared Mobility in India
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According to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Automotive Consumer Study, more than half of India’s millennials questioned the need for purchasing and owning a car. The report stated that the concept of shared mobility was increasingly being adopted in the country where half the population is less than 25 years of age. In 2019, the automobile sales in India hit a two-decade low, with passenger car sales falling below 3 million units.
Rising GST, liquidity crunch, and other challenges such as increasing prices on new engines as per the Bharat Stage Six (BS-VI) emission norms were some of the factors contributing to this fall in overall sales. These elements also paved the way for the rise of shared mobility services which are affordable, cleaner and more efficient. Major contributors to this are car rental companies which, through innovative technology and excellent user experience, have made it easy for people to commute rather than drive. Let us take a look at how car rental companies are transforming the shared mobility industry in India, and why a large percentage of the country is turning to them for mobility.
Adapting to the consumer’s needs
The global car rental market is expected to reach $164,335 million by 2022, and this is largely due to car rental companies rapidly adapting and improvising to accommodate the needs of the consumers. Driven by the need to offer sustainable transport that is both cost and energy efficient, car rental services have ensured that they harness the potential of new-age technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics to offer the best user experience to consumers as per their preferences. Clubbed together, these technologies have streamlined the process of renting a car.
From choosing your car to the fuel type to payment modes, the entire process is taken care of by technology, enabling the consumer to have a hassle-free experience. Tech-enabled systems such as GPS, security and telematics systems that offer better navigation and safety have made the concept of shared mobility more attractive to the new-age consumer.
Sustainable and affordable
A Morgan Stanley report predicts that by 2030, India will witness a large-scale expansion of shared mobility services, and is also expected to be one of the leading countries in shared mobility. Owing to the population, especially in metro cities, and the shrinking availability of space, climate change, and the rising prices of fuel and taxes, people are more likely to be drawn to sustainability. Car rentals are more sustainable in terms of being more environmentally friendly than owned vehicles. With the advent of electric vehicles (EVs), the industry is leaning towards being even more eco-friendly.
Car rental services are also easily available and offer multiple options which are affordable and can be chosen to suit the customer’s needs. Another crucial aspect that users need not worry about is the cost and hassle of vehicle maintenance. This is an advantage that rental cars have over personally owned cars since the responsibility for maintenance and repair of the vehicle is minimal. While car rental companies do have regulations for the consumer to pay for any damage to the vehicle, they eliminate the regular maintenance charges which would have to be paid in case of ownership of a personal car. One is also free from worries about the depreciating value of an asset when one rents a car instead of owning one. These multiple benefits have ensured that car rental companies gain a massive user base within a short period of time, and increased adoption of shared mobility in the country.
The future perspective
While the shared mobility industry has evolved by leaps and bounds in recent times, there is more potential that the industry offers which is yet to be unlocked. The EV industry is still at a nascent stage in India. However, it is set to grow massively, with both the government and private sector working towards the development of EVs. Based on the facts and figures, it is evident that the shared mobility sector has gained a strong foundation in the country and is only growing further. To get a better idea, however, we would only have to wait and see what the future has in store.