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Old 5th March 2013, 19:57   #1
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Default Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

Eagle-eyed Mod Vid6639 spotted an unfamiliar marked car and sure enough, his probing yielded an interesting find

Zoom cars (website link) is a brand new Bangalore based self-drive car service that was started by an American entrepreneur who decided to make Bangalore the site for his car-sharing start-up Zoom! With most cab passengers in Bangalore at the mercy of maniacal drivers, the concept of being able to rent a car on a self-drive basis sounds like a good one.

Let’s start with the basics:

If we are to self drive, then the choice of car is an important one. Ford’s Figo and Mahindra’s Scorpio in their fleet are both fun to drive and economical to run as well . Only manual transmission cars are on offer; Zoom says that they will add BMWs (oh boy!) and Electric Vehicles soon.

Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!-zoom_cars_jpeg.jpg

Tell Me More:

• Zoom is a brand new, membership-based, hyper-local self-drive service in Bangalore. You can hire cars on an hourly or daily basis. The technology for reservation, pick-up and drop-off results in a high level of automation.
• Vehicles (seven of them) are currently located at Brigade Gateway in Malleshwaram, but new locations will be added. If you pick up a car from a particular point, then you must drop it at the same place.
• All vehicles in their fleet have All India Permits.
• They do not provide drivers.

How Does Somebody in Bangalore Register for this Service?

• The membership process does seem easy (haven’t tested it though) and there is also a mobile app (droid or iPhone). Just create an account with your contact information and upload a photo of your driver's license.
• Anybody above the age of 21 holding a valid Light Motor Vehicle (car) License or International Driver's Permit (IDP) can join.
• Once you enrol, you can begin driving the same day.

Booking and Payment:

• Log on to their online reservation system or use the Android or iPhone apps. Select your ride and pickup location, along with start and end times for your reservation.
• The service accepts only credit / debit card payments. All payments have to be made in advance. No cash or net banking options are provided. Period.
• The minimum reservation slot is one hour; you can book on a daily basis too. The reservation can be extended using the mobile app or the connected in-car tablet provided by Zoom.
• Due to the nature of their business model, Zoom allows a 15 minute grace period for the vehicle to be returned, once your reservation is complete. However, if Zoom deems that you have inconvenienced another member by returning the vehicle after the 15 minute grace period, a Rs. 600 per hour late fee is applicable.
• If you return the car more than half hour before your reservation is scheduled to end, you get a driving credit for 50% of the amount of unused time. This can be used for any subsequent reservation.

Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!-zoom_cars_tariff_jpeg.jpg

The Fine Print:

Who pays for Fuel? - Zoom pays. In case you have to refuel the vehicle, submit the receipt within 7 calendar days of your reservation. Zoom says that it will happily send a full cash reimbursement to your address.
How much can I drive? - Each reservation comes with 150 kms of driving per day. As part of the launch offer, Zoom is offering unlimited driving with each reservation.
Who pays for Toll, Parking and Parking violations? - You do, dear member!

More about Zoom

• Founded by Greg Moran, Co-Founder and CEO and David Back, Co-Founder and President. The Zoom website says that among others, Greg previously worked with Fieldstone Private Capital Group, Cerberus Capital, International Power, etc. David has worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Co and as an investment manager at Goldman Sachs.
• Indian operations run by Srinivas Rao, VP Fleet Management, an 18 year veteran of the Indian car rental industry who has worked with Hertz, Budget and Car Club.
• Funding of over USD 100,000 raised from friends and family.

How to Zoom


Last edited by GTO : 6th March 2013 at 15:57. Reason: Adding link to their website
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Old 5th March 2013, 20:46   #2
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Updated on 16th March 2013:

Ajmat and I met the co-founder of Zoom and gave him a tough 2 hours with some hard questions. David told us a bit about Zoom and clarified some of the questions that T-BHPians had asked in this thread.

Having seen "success" in China by other self drive agencies, they decided on India. The founders with no inkling about India came over and set up shop and have spent two years understanding the market and its legalities.

The response after team-bhp's thread has given them a fortunate problem. The level of inquiries has stepped up and also the number of refusals due to less supply has spiked. We have inadvertently caused them to advance their ramp up plans.

Ford, Mahindra and BMW have been very co-operative and supportive. Ford also provided help in introducing them to various potential stakeholders. Don't expect Zoom to add cars from other manufacturer just yet. They plan is to stick onto Mahindra and Ford for now on and add BMW shortly.

The Cars:

- Currently they have 4 Ford Figo Diesels and 3 Mahindra Scorpios. The plan is to ramp upto 15 shortly.

- All vehicles are registered as self drive tourist vehicles with All India Permit. They have black plates with yellow font.

- Each car is fitted with a special monitoring device. They are able to monitor cars, disable them completely and also monitor speeds. When we say monitor speed, if the car is doing more than a certain speed in what might be a congested area, frequently, then this is flagged.

- Cars are locked and unlocked using the smartphone app or via SMS for now. The key should remain inside the vehicle at all times.

- They can also monitor fuel levels, so folks who fill 10 litres but give them a bill of 30 litres on a consistently basis will be toast from the membership.


The Terms:

- Zoom always pays for fuel. Hard to believe but their rental prices are including fuel. Currently if you rent a car for 24 hours, they allow upto 150kms (this may get revised). Post 150kms they will charge a nominal fee per km which has not yet ben determined.

- Rental is hourly basis or 24 hourly basis. Any 24 hour period is accepted. So you can take a car at 2am and return it by 2am the next day.

- Until April 1st 2013 the kms are unlimited and Zoom pays for fuel. So if you plan a weekend trip to Goa for 3 days in a Scorpio (before April 1st) it will cost you Rs.7,500 all inclusive. If you need to fill diesel, they will reimburse the amount.

- A lot of trust and honesty is required - if there is damage or similar, disclose it and a pragmatic view will be taken about it.

- Founders are very hands-on, one sits with the cars and the other sits in the call centre. They spend a lot of time talking to the customer.

- Rates are subject to fuel price volatility. Else take the bus!

Damages/Insurance:

There were a lot of questions about damages and insurance.

- All cars are comprehensively insured.

- Incase of an accident or any damage caused to vehicle, members must inform Zoom immediately.

- Zoom charges a maximum of Rs.3,000 as damage claims. If there is a small damage then they may charge a lesser amount just for the damage.

- If there is an accident caused and the member is found to have violated traffic rules or Zoom's terms and conditions, then he is liable to pay for full damage and not just the 3,000.

Example: If the member was driving under the influence or a non registered member was driving and they got into an accident, the member is liable for all damages.

- If you break any traffic rules, Zoom must be informed. They will levy a nominal processing fee of Rs.150 + the fine amount to make sure the cars don't have a pile of penalties.

Future plans:

- They will spread out in Bangalore to locations such as Koramangla, Whitefield, Electronics City and Indiranagar. Cars have to be returned to same locations where picked up from.

- It will be a single pick-up/ return point basis of rental for now. Pick up here and drop off there will not happen until they have a 500+ critical mass.

- There has been good response from apartment residential comittees. They are also targetting "mature" educational institutions like IIM and IISC.

- They will be adding BMW's and Mahindra E20 in the future.

- The focus is on Bangalore for now. Once it works seamlessly, it will spread out.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 16th March 2013 at 11:08.
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Old 6th March 2013, 10:57   #3
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Default re: Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Indian Car Scene. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 6th March 2013, 11:21   #4
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Default re: Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redline6800 View Post
Eagle-eyed Mod Vid6639 spotted an unfamiliar marked car and sure enough, his probing yielded an interesting find

Zoom cars is a brand new Bangalore based self-drive car service that was started by an American entrepreneur who decided to make Bangalore the site for his car-sharing start-up Zoom! With most cab passengers in Bangalore at the mercy of maniacal drivers, the concept of being able to rent a car on a self-drive basis sounds like a good one.
Nice initiative. I think this is cheaper than Hertz which the last time I checked quoted astronomical prices

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redline6800 View Post
The Fine Print:

Who pays for Fuel? - Zoom pays. In case you have to refuel the vehicle, submit the receipt within 7 calendar days of your reservation. Zoom says that it will happily send a full cash reimbursement to your address.
Have not heard of this before. Is this a common practice followed by self driven hire vehicles? If not, good way to get the customer's attention what with the rising prices
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Old 6th March 2013, 11:54   #5
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Default re: Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arvind71181 View Post
Have not heard of this before. Is this a common practice followed by self driven hire vehicles? If not, good way to get the customer's attention what with the rising prices
Although not common, it's not unheard of. Zoom seems to be following the Zip car model which was a huge hit in the USA (Boston) and rightly so.

Once you are a member of Zip car, you get a smart card. Use the smartphone app, locate a Zip Car lot close to you and book a car. Tap your smart card to unlock the car. The car contains two cards in the visor holder, one for fuel, and the other for parking. Use these cards to pay for fuel/parking. Return the car, tap your smart card to lock it and you're done!
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Old 6th March 2013, 12:13   #6
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Default re: Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

Cannot recall the name at this point but we used something similar in the UK as well. Booked it online and simply walked 10 minutes to a parking lot , got into the car a drove off. Really convenient.

More than that glad to see another "Self Drive" option available , we used one extensively during a visit to Coorg a few years back and were very limited in choices and thus in terms of rates as well.
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Old 6th March 2013, 12:21   #7
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Default re: Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

This is really a nice initiative and i think it should be a success .
It will be helpful for people who come to bangalore frequently and doesn't want to be dependent on a taxi service for their commute .
I am sure alot of bhpians can also make use of this when their rides are off the roads for servicing .

cheers
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Old 6th March 2013, 12:26   #8
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Default re: Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

This will be very useful to someone has one car but occasionally needs a second one. Definitely cheaper than buying a new car for 200-300kms a month or using the unreliable cabbies.

When you give your car for servicing, this will be a boon.

The Scorpio is perfect for hatch owners who plan an outstation trip or an airport/train station pickup and need additional space for luggage and people.

The business plan seems well thought out except for the insurance. I'm not really sure how it works when the car gets damaged.

Also, fuel is borne by Zoom and they say incase you need to fill up, they will reimburse cash. Hope they can ensure that this does not get misused.

The self drive option relies a lot on trust to the person renting. The guy should be drive properly and treat the car like his own else these cars will end up being abused and will be in bad condition in no time.
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Old 6th March 2013, 12:28   #9
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Default re: Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

Thats a unique offering if i am not mistaken , typically for a self drive setup the user needs to pay for the fuel and also at the time of returning the car needs to leave it with a certain minimum amount in the tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post

Also, fuel is borne by Zoom and they say incase you need to fill up, they will reimburse cash. Hope they can ensure that this does not get misused.
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Old 6th March 2013, 12:46   #10
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Default re: Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
This will be very useful to someone has one car but occasionally needs a second one. Definitely cheaper than buying a new car for 200-300kms a month or using the unreliable cabbies.

The self drive option relies a lot on trust to the person renting. The guy should be drive properly and treat the car like his own else these cars will end up being abused and will be in bad condition in no time.
True, especially on the airport or train pick ups!

Most important. else the cost of keeping the cars on the road will drive them out of business!

I hope it becomes a success, it is very difficult to sit in the backseat of a cab and watch the hapless car being abused and driven badly!
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Old 6th March 2013, 12:53   #11
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Default re: Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

This sounds pretty interesting. However, can someone provide any idea about the rental rates? I tried searching for a website but found none.

EDIT: Sorry I had images turned off on my browser. Got it now.
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Old 6th March 2013, 12:59   #12
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Default re: Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

No doubt a good service and am sure many of the hatchbacks will use this option. Primarily for usage within city would be what they look out for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Also, fuel is borne by Zoom and they say incase you need to fill up, they will reimburse cash. Hope they can ensure that this does not get misused.
Vidyut,
Suppose that part is yet to be cleared, from the screen shots it appears that ZOOM will be able to bear only the 150 kms if you do a day's booking. So anything above 150 kms you would have to actually foot it.
Still would say VFM considering that for a Scorpio you ought to pay 2500 Rs which includes 150 kms means 10-14 liters of diesel which means that you would be paying around 2500-750 = 1750 as vehicle rentals.
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Old 6th March 2013, 13:06   #13
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Default re: Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

Nice option to go through especially for people who need a 7 seater (scorpio) on occasional drives out-of-town.

However they need to clarify on the per-km charge if any after 150kms of initial allowed drive.
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Old 6th March 2013, 13:49   #14
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Default re: Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

Fantastic initiative! As someone who needs a "self-drive" car whenever I visit India this is brilliant!

Here's hoping they open up in other cities soon as well!
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Old 6th March 2013, 14:01   #15
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Default re: Zoom Pay & Drive, New Self Drive Option in Bangalore! *UPDATE* Now in Pune!

Very interesting concept especially for out station family trips.

Hope they extend this concept to other cities. I'm already making Leh plans
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