I bet most of you living in metropolitan cities might have already heard about this cool car rental company that allows people to rent a car of his/her choice for any specified duration and it is self-drive so that you can enjoy driving a car yourself. I am not a car fanatic but I recently learned how to drive and believe me, Zoomcar has been a companion for me and my elder brother who used to book cars from Zoomcar two years ago to perfect his driving and it did help him. The app is really awesome where you just have to add the date you want a car for, choose between car models and brands based on availability and pick it up from the said location. In fact, Zoomcar has spread across a number of locations in major cities such as Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, etc where you can simply book a Zoomcar nearby and hit the roads.
The setup is pretty simple. You need Google or Facebook or other social media credentials to log in and create an account for yourself. Note that if you have any referral code, it is your time to enjoy a double benefit as using a friend’s referral code will encash discounts for you and your friends and works with every referral you get on Zoomcar which is a major cost saver.
When updating the profile, ensure that the information fed is up to the KYC documents that you will submit with the profile where you will need a driving license and Pan card/Aadhaar card, etc. The app will take a few hours or a few days to verify the account but once you are given green signal, you are ready to roll by booking the first ride with a 20% to 30% discount that you can grab from the app or website itself which is limited to first-time users although there are other offers as well.
How does booking work?
Now, I used this app with my elder brother’s account. When booking, you need to select the date and time of booking and similarly, date and time for end time and enter the location. Now, the app will show you a list of all the available cars around you. When I search for cars in Thane, I got results from both Thane and Mumbai where I can grab the car I want from the given location i.e. Domestic or International Airport, Parking Lot, etc.
Here, there are basically two lists i.e. with and without fuel where for the latter, you won’t be reimbursed any amount above the free kilometers Zoomcar provides but for with fuel option, you can enjoy said free kilometers and pay for extra kilometers you drive and not worry about the fuel tank since it is usually filled or even if it is not, you’ll get reimbursement upon presenting the gas receipt.
Whilst selecting, you need to know how many kilometers you want the car for since whatever you drive upwards of the free kilometers allowed, you’ll be charged a flat fee on every kilometer which you can check on the app itself.
How’s the service?
I have used Zoom car a lot of times and like any other service, I have experienced mixed service responses. Sometimes the service is too unbelievable and the representative is helpful in assessing the vehicle before and after a ride in a jiffy and other times, the service is practically slow. Since Zoomcar has introduced ZAP Subscribe, many people have bought cars that they can give to Zoomcar in exchange of waiver on EMIs and that’s where the problem could be bad.
At Zoomcar’s centers, there is a representative available to help in any manner and solve any query but when you are picking up a car under ZAP Subscribe, you are basically picking up a car parked in a parking lot or at the basement of a mall or society or other places. Here, you must be cautious that any dents and scratches on the car beforehand must be reported because if you fail to, the owner might blame the last user of the said car responsible for the scratches or any damage and that’s when you’ll have to pay charges for repairs. Thankfully, I never had to pay anything since I always snap photos of the exterior and interior of the car both before and after the journey and keep it as proof in case if the owner disputes it.
What are the charges related to booking a car?
Zoomcar charges a flat fee on a car rented for hours and kilometers where you need to return the car in case if one of the parameters end. In case if it is the time, you have around 15 to 30 minutes to return the car over the specified time or you’ll be charged a staggering 450/- per hour along with other charges. As for the extra kilometers, they are cheap and you can always pay 10 to 20/- rs a kilometer depending upon the car and the city you booked the car from.
If you want to buy a car on EMI, why not use the ZAP Subscribe option where you can lend your car to Zoomcar for the days you specify and whatever income Zoomcar makes on those days, it will give you a waiver on the total EMI to be paid every month. It is trending nowadays since Zoomcar covers all the repairs, maintenance, and insurance charges until the car is with Zoomcar and that excludes the duration you opt-out to lend the car to the company but it is still a great deal.
The Down Side
After going through almost all the UP sides of this app service, there must be a DOWN side too, right? Because nothing can be perfect and neither the Zoomcar app is. So, Just a few days ago, I booked a Hyundai Creta from a location which is a few kilometers away from where I had to reach and pick it up. Ever since Zoomcar has started it’s ZAP Subscribe program, anyone can buy a car and give it to Zoomcar on commission.
Now there is a catch here for the users. When you book a car, it initially would have a fixed location like a parking lot under a mall or something like that. But now, the car can be anything in a blue circle that will be displayed on the screen when booking which means it could be as close as the next building to a railway station or bus stop or it could be a few kilometers away from it and since you’ll only receive the update on the address where you need to visit to pick up the car 2 hours early than scheduled booking time, there’s no option but to visit the place as said.
Although this isn’t a big deal if you have connectivity to the said location otherwise, it is an expensive proposition and that’s what Zoomcar must look into it.
As a matter of fact, I found Zoomcar to be reasonable and reliable and the cars are often available while there are other cars renting companies that will charge more than Zoomcar. Since it comes with mixed customer response, I can’t probably say that you use Zoomcar but at least you can try once and I am sure you’ll love it just like I did. You can download the app here!