Car-sharing service SOCAR is joining the Malaysian vehicle-sharing landscape in what is its first country expansion outside of South Korea.
SOCAR Malaysia is a sister company to SOCAR Korea, which is South Korea’s top car-sharing platform with nearly 10,000 cars and over three million registered users. The push into Malaysia is aimed to be its stepping stone to the rest of Southeast Asia, according to the company.
Due for official launch locally in mid-January 2018, the service aims to grow its fleet to 1,000 cars and to acquire 500,000 members by the end of next year. The company says all its cars are keyless and users only need their smartphones to unlock a SOCAR rental vehicle.
SOCAR Malaysia enters an increasingly competitive car-sharing market in the Klang Valley.
Among its direct competitors would be COMOS, an electric vehicle (EV) rental service that offers daily, weekly and monthly rental rates for either a two-seater Renault Twizy or a four-seater Renault Zoe.
There is also GoCar, which offers a Perodua Iriz, Perodua Myvi or Nissan Almera for rental. The start-up, which began in March 2016, is now majority-controlled by Mayflower Acme Tours, a subsidiary of listed firm Warisan TC Holdings Berhad.
Other competitors are Moovby, Kwikcar and Roadaz, which operate on a slightly different business model. Rather than owning their own fleet, these services provide a platform for car owners to list their vehicles for rental during idle periods.
SOCAR Malaysia will launch four car models at different rental rates. It says the rental is inclusive of 30 kilometres’ worth of petrol per hour.
Users will pay RM8.00 per hour for a Perodua Axia, RM12.90 hourly for a Honda City and RM18.90 hourly for a Honda HR-V.
For users who like a bit more style, they may choose a Mini Cooper for RM25.00 per hour.
A quick comparison indicates that SOCAR is looking a slightly different market segment compared to the likes of Moovby, Kwikcar and Roadaz.
As an example, Moovby’s cheapest available option is a small Perodua Viva at RM6 per hour, while a slightly more spacious option is Proton Saga at RM7 per hour.