Owning a car no more an aspiration!

Neha Basudkar & Sushant Ranjan
Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Owning a car and maintaining it has become a costly affair, especially for nuclear families and youngsters. They prefer renting the car by paying a fixed amount and not worry about the hassles of insurance trouble and maintenance.

Renting a car these days has become a much simpler and easier option than owning it,” said Rahul Patil who had recently rented a car to celebrate his daughter’s sixth birthday.

Owning a car and maintaining it has become a costly affair, especially for nuclear families and youngsters. They prefer renting the car by paying a fixed amount and not worry about the hassles of insurance trouble and maintenance.

Add to that, rising fuel costs and parking problems faced in all major cities.

Patil, an IT professional, rented an Audi Q3 for just Rs 5,500 per day for two days to celebrate his daughter’s birthday at Alibaug. “I rented a premium car because they were available on discount. Usually, I rent a hatchback or a sedan for Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 per day. Renting is an easier and profitable option, especially if you do not need a car for your daily use.”

Avinash Rathor, a student, who just graduated, recently rented a BMW for Rs 6,000 per day for a trip to Goa.

“My friends and I decided to go to Goa for a short trip and were calculating the expenses. One of my friends has an SUV, but while calculating the overall expenses of the car, we realised that renting a car will be a better option as we will get a premium car for nominal rates. Plus the pleasure of going to Goa with a premium car provides an altogether different experience,” Rathor added.

With so many automobile brands and their numerous models out there in the market, it also becomes difficult to choose to buy. The younger generation prefers not to commit to just one brand and model when they have a plethora of options to choose from. 

Many people have different requirements from their car, either for daily use, luxury getaways or off-roading adventures. 

Owning a car means either having a different set of wheels to serve different purposes, or expecting a car from one specific segment to undertake a task it is probably not meant to do. 

Renting a car provides the freedom to choose a vehicle as per the requirement of the day. 
While speaking to private car rental companies in the city, they responded saying the trend of a self-drive premium car is catching momentum. 

Sanjay Sindhia, the owner of Siddhesh Travels located on Jungli Maharaj Road, said, “April to May is always the peak season for renting cars, and these days we are experiencing that mostly the youngsters are preferring premium self-drive cars. They are mostly travelling to Goa, Mahabaleshwar, Kolhapur, Alibaug and other such places on the outskirts. The premium car rates start from Rs 85 per km, while the sedan costs Rs 12 per km and an SUV comes at a price of Rs 18 per km. Even though rates for premium cars are steep, many youngsters and families are renting them.”

Manish Advani, the owner of Prime Cars located at Vadgaon Sheri, said, “People are insisting on renting a car without a driver. This trend has been noticed from the beginning of this year. Most of them rent a car for a long journey.”

Along with the self-drive option, hiring a cab from an online aggregator is also an easy option. With the companies offering attractive prices, the cab market is highly competitive. 

The companies also provide not only local services but also outstation service at an affordable rate. 

Earlier, travelling internationally meant asking someone for a drop to the Mumbai airport or taking the State Transport bus. But with the efficient cab service, there is an ease in travel, especially for families with young children and senior citizens.  

There has been a gradual increase in commercial vehicle sales in the city. The Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) has registered 47,617 four-wheelers in 2018-19, of which 32,345 were registered under Cabs and Taxis. Similarly, the demand for sedan cars has seen a rise in the commercial vehicles segment. 

According to a senior officer, RTO, “We just register the vehicles. We do not register them in segments. But when it comes to commercial vehicle registration, we mention whether the vehicle is cab or taxi segment. As per the records, the demand for cabs and taxi is high currently. Till the end of 2018, as many as 32,345 cabs were registered, which are 9,649 more than the previous year. In 2017, we had registered only 22,696 cabs. The Pimpri-Chinchwad RTO had registered 30,000 cabs and adding Pune, the number was over 62,345 till 2018.”

However, the demand for SUVs is high among private owners. As per the records provided by RTO in the four-wheeler segment, the SUVs were preferred over hatchbacks and this has resulted in a considerable decline in the small car segment sales. 

The city witnesses the highest number of vehicle registrations after Mumbai. According to the RTO report, around 850-900 vehicles are registered in the city every day.

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