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The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a surge in demand for a large assortment of products and companies. For instance, e-commerce noticed an enormous increase as many Singaporeans selected to buy on-line as an alternative of going to bodily shops.
One other trade that noticed an enormous progress in demand is car-sharing. This refers to non-public house owners leasing their automobiles for others to drive, or when an organization has a fleet of automobiles that can be utilized for short-term leases.
In keeping with a report revealed final yr, car-sharing corporations skilled a spike in demand the second motion restrictions had been lifted.
In the course of the first part of the economic system reopening in June 2020, Tribecar’s income elevated by 40 per cent, whereas Whizzcar noticed a 20 per cent improve. Alternatively, BlueSG bounced again from its loss incurred in the course of the circuit breaker with a 50 per cent leap in leases.
For Drive lah, it noticed a 20 per cent rise in month-on-month income in April and Could in the course of the circuit breaker, and the variety of lively customers went up from about 5,000 in April to 7,000 in June.
Moreover, Statista states that the person penetration of car-sharing companies is 6.eight per cent in 2021 and is anticipated to hit eight.5 per cent by 2025.
Though the car-sharing increase is evident to see, will this demand maintain in the long run?
Automotive-Sharing May Not Be The Extra Reasonably priced Possibility
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One of many key attracts about car-sharing is that it’s touted to be the extra inexpensive possibility relating to transport in Singapore.
It takes away the long-term liabilities that include a depreciating asset equivalent to a automobile. That is particularly prevalent in Singapore, the place excessive prices of automobile possession might not be sensible over time.
Moreover paying for the upfront prices of a automobile and its Certificates of Entitlement (COE), automobile house owners would possibly count on to pay a mean of S$1,591 a yr on automobile insurance coverage, S$621 for servicing/upkeep prices, S$742 in highway tax, and S$2,434 in petrol prices annually.
A current discovering by Automotive Membership reveals that almost all automobiles are under-utilised and sit idly in automobile parks 80 per cent of the time. Drive lah’s analysis additional affirmed that Singapore sees 11,520,548 of unused automobile hours per day.
Except you drive commonly, it’s positively a extra economical possibility for Singaporeans to utilise car-sharing companies.
Nevertheless, we have now to take into accounts public transportation as effectively. Singapore has a really well-connected public transport system, which is extra inexpensive than renting a automobile from car-sharing platforms.
Moreover, the nation additionally has a slew of ride-hailing choices, from Seize to Gojek, and even smaller gamers like TADA and Ryde. Right here’s how the assorted car-sharing choices in Singapore match as much as public transport:
Worth comparability for car-sharing companies versus ride-hailing companies / Picture Credit score: Vulcan Submit
In keeping with the desk above, car-sharing is probably the most cost-effective possibility, particularly with corporations like Shariot providing extraordinarily aggressive charges from S$1 per hour.
One gripe nevertheless, is that many car-sharing platforms require customers to pay a month-to-month membership price, registration price, or bear the petrol value.
Comfort As A Key Draw
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Singapore is a particularly fast-paced metropolis, and comfort is one thing that’s extremely valued by most Singaporeans.
Though car-sharing is likely to be inexpensive, it’s not probably the most handy possibility obtainable. The truth is, it’s more likely to take longer than reserving a cab or a ride-hailing service.
For instance, despite the fact that Tribecar has probably the most numerous fleet of automobiles for rental equivalent to bikes, vans and lorries, customers must return the automobile to the precise parking zone the place they collected it from. As such, if the person didn’t accumulate the automobile from a carpark near their houses, they must exit of their method to return it when the rental ends.
Electrical car-sharing agency BlueSG adopts a extra handy “level A to B” mannequin, wherein customers don’t have to return the automobile on the identical location they picked it up from. Nevertheless, they are going to nonetheless must return the BlueSG automobile to a chosen parking zone.
Moreover, despite the fact that the corporate at the moment has a fleet of 667 shared electrical Bluecar automobiles and 1,487 charging stations, it’s nonetheless tough to discover a automobile, particularly at areas the place demand is excessive.
For Drive lah, it is the primary peer-to-peer car-sharing platform in Singapore that enables personal automobile house owners to hire out their automobiles. To gather the automobile, you’re required to fulfill your host at a chosen pick-up level and after the time is up, you would wish to drive the automobile again to your host.
Automotive-Sharing Works As A Brief-Time period Resolution
It appears unlikely that Singaporeans will use car-sharing as a frequent mode of transportation like trains, buses and even ride-hailing companies.
In keeping with transport economist Walter Theseira of the Singapore College of Social Sciences, car-sharing will solely work effectively in international locations the place “automobile capital prices are low, and driver prices are excessive.”
Nevertheless, within the case of Singapore, public transport and even ride-hailing companies are comparatively inexpensive, which makes car-sharing a much less enticing possibility.
The demand for car-sharing is more likely to fall when Singapore’s borders regularly open and Singaporeans are in a position to enterprise overseas once more.
Within the meantime, though Singaporeans would possibly sometimes use car-sharing companies for household outings or particular long-distance journeys, it’s unlikely to turn into a each day mode of transport.
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