Car-sharing rental firm ignites

Car-sharing rental firm ignites

Rent A Car Club application, Thailand first peer to peer car rental agency, where car owners can rent their cars and make money while doing it.
Rent A Car Club application, Thailand first peer to peer car rental agency, where car owners can rent their cars and make money while doing it.

Rent A Car Club, a car-sharing business operator, has introduced an application to cash in on the growing tourism business, aiming to draw 5,000 cars to join the app this year.

MR Saral Varanarn, the company's managing director, said the car rental business in Thailand is valued at 20 billion baht and grows by 10-20% a year.

Running a car rental business requires a huge investment, mostly for purchasing new cars and paying for insurance. But the sharing model forgoes those costs, just as Airbnb avoids many accommodation costs.

"Our business model is similar to Airbnb. Many people leave their cars at home during the day, using mass transit. They can join our network to earn some income from their cars," said MR Saral.

Car owners can apply to join through an app called "Rent A Car Club". The business uses a dynamic price system, depending on service time.

Established last year, the club is built on the premise of a surplus of unused cars.

"We expect to see more investment in the car-sharing business because of the lower barriers to entry," he said. "Car owners or drivers must meet the company requirements such as possession of a valid driver's licence for two years and be at least 21 years of age."

Car owners must register their car information including model, condition and expected rent to connect with potential renters.

Rent A Car Club expects the car-sharing business to help strengthen the tourism sector because rental cars are in high demand during the peak season.

"We expect more than 5,000 cars to join our company this year, while over 300 people will hire cars a day through our online channel. About 75% of target customers will come from mainland China, Southeast Asia and Western countries," said MR Saral.

The company has teamed up with Viriyah Insurance to arrange auto insurance. Rent A Car Club expects to find more partners such as credit card companies.

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