Wah, you can rent a car in S’pore for $2 per hour. Cheaper than taxi?

When you need to get to places in a jiffy, what do you do? The first thing that comes to mind is probably to call a cab or open your Uber/Grab app. Given that most booking fares start from $3.30, this is not a cheap option. Enter Tribecar, a car-rental, car-sharing and chauffeur service all rolled into one.

Started by a family which runs Malaysian conglomerate Insas, the two month old company offers short-term car rental starting from $2 per hour. That’s even cheaper than the flag down fare of a cab! It currently has 23 cars–mainly Toyota Corolla Altis more than five years old–with 210 users who place a $100 deposit in order to rent cars from them.

Image: tribecar.com
Image: tribecar.com

The founders, Ms Thong Mei Chuen and her brother, Weng Sheng explained that they realised a group of people who needed ultra short-term car rentals were underserved here. These people may be parents who need to pick up or drop off their kids and do grocery shopping, or part-time drivers for Uber who wanted to earn some side income.

Its current fleet is parked at Housing Board areas such as Tiong Bahru, Bedok and Jurong. When its fleet grows to 200, hirers will no longer have to return the car to its original pickup point and can simply leave it at their destination. Another hirer in the vicinity will then pick up the car from there. Tribecar is aiming to have 500 cars by the end of this year and is looking to work with other car rental companies.

Tribecar has also developed a technology that allows hirers to access their cars via their smartphone. Gone are the days of stored-value cards and key boxes; all the hirers have to do is enter a phone PIN to unlock their rented car. All payments are also done via the company’s e-wallet account.