Dubai: Dubai’s newest pay-by-minute car rental service that was launched last month, has hit the fast lane, operators have said.
After just over a month into service, the operators revealed that more than 2,000 people have tried the facility so far.
Operated by udrive and ekar, 200 cars are available for the rental service from different locations in the city, including metro stations and other landmarks.
Accessed by mobile applications, the smart car rental service offers people a convenience of short trips to and from metro stations at prices lower than a regular taxi.
“We have had a successful Dubai launch, with over 1,000 members joining in the first two weeks. We have registered more than a 1,000 trips since our launch on January 15, a number that supports the success of this programme,” said Vilhelm Hedberg, co-founder and CEO of ekar.
He added that the membership rates are increasing significantly on the back of promo codes that the company is offering.
“We are currently offering all new registered members using the promo code ‘1wk4you’ 1 week of free driving and 2 months of free membership,” he added.
Going a step further, udrive has cancelled the Dh20 monthly membership all together.
“The response is very positive and increasing day by day. Daily, we have new people registering with us and starting to use the cars. During our early days of operations we realised that people are keen on using the service but are a bit reluctant on paying the monthly membership fee, so we cancelled it,” said Hasib Khan, managing director of udrive.
The company is also offering one hour free driving for all new customers.
According to Khan, the udrive mobile app has seen more than 9,000 downloads, with current total drive time exceeding 2,000 hours.
Udrive also claims a membership of 1,000 regular users, with Business Bay, Dubai Marina, Dubai World Trade Centre, Financial Centre being some of the busiest locations for the car pickup.
The smart service allows commuters to pick up a car from any location and drop it anywhere else in Dubai, paying for the service by the minute or on an hourly basis through mobile apps of Udrive and ekar.
At 50 fils per minute or Dh30 per hour, the commuter can pick up car from any location in Dubai and drop it at any other location.
A second option of dropping the car back at the place from where it was picked is available at a much cheaper rate of 40 fils per minute or Dh24 per hour.
The cost includes the parking fees for zones A, B, C and D, fuel cost and insurance.
The registration for the service can be done either through the apps or websites of both the firms by following a set of steps and uploading documents like driving Iicence, Emirates ID and passport details.
The process of applying for the service via the mobile app takes around 15 minutes, but it might take around four hours or more for the system to process the application.
Once approved, the customers have to activate their payment account by uploading their credit cards, following which the registered customer receives a permanent unique identification pin to access the car.
Though, both the operators are claiming smooth operations, some users say they experienced glitches.
“You should fix bugs, it has been two hours I am trying to register, keep restarting,” read a review on the udrive app.
A user of ekar also seemed unhappy which is obvious from the review he left on the app: “Takes 20 minutes to register and guess what, doesn’t work. Don’t waste your time.”
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Smart car rentals a success, say operators