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Old 17th February 2014, 12:53   #1
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Default Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

Related Threads: 1 (Feedback on different Self Drive rental agencies) and 2

Whenever us Moderators have visited Delhi for the Auto Expo, we've rented local cabs. Primary reason was that parking @ Pragati Maidan has always been a mess.

This time however, it was obvious that the Expo organisers were going all out to make the media days a success (related thread). I was convinced that the experience will be superior and there was the promise of ample parking too.

With that in mind, we decided to rent a self-drive car for the time spent in Delhi (landing point) & Noida (Expo & Hotel). This was also the first time that I've rented a self-driven cab in India.

Remembered our news item and headed straight to the Carzonrent website. I found their range of cars & pricing to be reasonable. A fun-to-drive Swift diesel was tempting at Rs. 1,300 per day, but since we're going to be 5 onboard, a spacious cabin was mandatory. Chose the practical Etios Diesel instead for Rs. 1,500 a day. Interestingly, the Sunny (Rs. 1,900) is priced higher than the Vento (Rs. 1,800) on their website. The E2O is the cheapest car at merely 800 bucks daily, while 7-seater UVs (Innova, XUV500, Fortuner) range between Rs. 2,200 - 5,000 / day. The 7-seater VFM option? Ertiga @ Rs. 1,800.

The booking confirmation was received via email within minutes. Calculation = (3 x 1,499) + 12.5% VAT (Rs. 562):
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-capture.jpg

Points to consider:
• Each car model has a minimum billing amount. For the options I looked up, it amounted to minimum 3 days of rental. Fit our plan perfectly.
• Price is inclusive of full & comprehensive insurance (accident, theft etc.).
• No upper limit on the number of kms you can drive per day.
• Self-drive rentals come with an All-India taxi permit.
What I particularly liked, you decide on the start & end times (unlike hotels which have a fixed check-in at noon). I chose an 8 pm pickup as well as drop-off time, and was charged for the 3 days in between.
• Car is given to you with a full tank of diesel. Either you return it back with a full tank, or they'll charge your card for the top-up. Incidentally, their main office is located on a property shared with a petrol pump.
• 24 hour roadside assistance (1800-2099-192) available.
• Every self-drive cab has a hidden GPS tracker under the dashboard. They once traced a stolen car far away in Nepal!
• One of their staffers told us that 150 new Etios' have been added to the Delhi self-drive fleet.
• The current business is worth 60 - 70 self-drive rentals per day. To put things in perspective, the same for chauffeur-driven rentals is about 250 / day.
The Pickup Experience:

There are multiple pickup locations in Delhi. We obviously chose the T1 airport terminal where we were landing. Our flight was delayed by over an hour. The minute we landed, I had a call from the Carzonrent driver; he was waiting right outside with the car.

Our group was pleasantly surprised when we walked up to the Etios diesel. It was a BRAND NEW piece. Invoiced just a week back, delivered 2 days ago and with merely 130 kms on the odometer. Guess they couldn't have chosen anyone better to do the running-in

What I Hated!

It was already 930 pm and we were tired from working all day, then catching the evening flight. I expected to drive away straight from the airport to our hotel.

"Not possible", says the driver.

Huh? In what is the stupidest operational decision for a company that thrives on efficiency, we were made to drive to a Carzonrent office 20 minutes away (in the opposite direction of our hotel) to sign the paperwork. This is plain RIDICULOUS, especially when you consider that Carzonrent has an office at the Delhi airport itself (some dimwit decided the airport office will only serve chauffeur-driven customers). In all, we probably wasted an hour because of this silly policy.

Carzonrent wanted an additional ID proof, over and above the driver's licence. Fair enough, considering the high instance of fraud in India and the low recovery rate of stolen cars. Between a passport and voter's id, I chose to carry an older (expired) passport, as roaming around the Expo with my current passport & valid visas isn't the wisest decision. Unfortunately, they don't accept expired passports. I don't understand why it's not considered as an id proof? Either ways, they accept scanned copies which I maintain on my laptop. Before I could fire the OS up, Rehaan offered a copy of his passport.

Forms signed & documentation done, my credit card was blocked for Rs. 30,000 as a security deposit.

The Etios Experience:

As mentioned earlier, the Etios diesel we got was fresh out of the showroom. Ours was one of the lower variants sans rpm counter, yet the car did have a double-din stereo & driver's seat height adjustment. What's more, it was smartly equipped (by Carzonrent) with a fire extinguisher, multi-pin mobile charger, an ice-box for them Red Bulls and LCD screens for rear passengers. Practical add-ons, just like the car. 5 of us fit in without complaint and the massive boot easily swallowed our luggage in. The absence of turbo lag + light controls made the Etios a breeze to drive around Delhi. The balanced suspension set-up meant excellent ride quality matched to neutral dynamics. Vid6639 & Parrys used Google Maps to guide us around an unfamiliar city, and also found an excellent restaurant for dinner.

On the Delhi-Noida expressway though, the Etios completely disappointed me. This car has a serious lack of power by 2014 standards. Floor the accelerator when you want sudden pep and you get......well, absolutely nothing! Eventually, we decided to drive sedately, shifting up early the rest of the 3 days. Driving the Etios diesel on the highway is a yawn-inducing experience. Give me that sweet 1.5L petrol variant any day.

We returned the car after 3 days of driving and ~200 kms. The diesel gauge had dropped all of 1 bar! That too, when we were nearing the airport. Didn't bother to fill up such little fuel. Told the Carzonrent driver to tank up and charge the amount to my card.

The Drop-Off Experience:

I'd called Carzonrent in advance and asked for the driver to reach the airport at 1730 hours. We got there on time, a courteous gentleman wearing a suit arrived 10 minutes later, checked the car and drove her away. Unlike the poor pickup experience, this one was a breeze. By the time I got home, a soft copy of the invoice was in my inbox.

The Etios we rented:
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-1.jpg

Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-2.jpg

Brand new car. Perhaps, we were its first renters:
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-3.jpg

On the final day, before we left for the airport. The car had 130 odd kms when we got it. The fuel gauge hadn't moved from its place:
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-4a.jpg

All-India Permit. Car was a 2014 build:
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-4b.jpg

Equipped with a fire extinguisher & double floor mats:
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-5a.jpg

Nifty phone charger with multiple pins was provided:
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-5b.jpg

Two LCDs to entertain rear passengers:
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-6.jpg

Remote control...
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-7.jpg

...with games thrown in:
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-8.jpg

An ice box in the boot:
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-9.jpg

Baby seats, GPS devices etc. available as optional extras:
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-10.jpg

Smart tagline on a Carzonrent E2O:
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-11.jpg

The E2O's charging station with an odometer-like analog counter for electrical usage:
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-12.jpg

The suited & booted Carzonrent staffer who picked up the Etios from the airport:
Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-imag0369.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 17th February 2014 at 16:15.
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Old 17th February 2014, 16:25   #2
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Street Experiences!
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Old 17th February 2014, 16:46   #3
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

Quality information there!

Makes most sense while traveling in a group. Wide choice of cars is most welcome!

Sunny being priced above the Vento; I guess, that is mainly due to the length of the car, which *may* be the deciding factor!

Last edited by Safety is Param : 17th February 2014 at 16:48.
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Old 17th February 2014, 17:27   #4
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

This looks like a great option for a trip of 3-4 days in a city where you know your way reasonably well enough around but don't live in anymore. I did a quick check for Bangalore and the cost for 3 days works out to around 1500/day for a nice Swift Vdi. The last time I visited that city, I travelled between the airport, the city (MG Road/Indiranagar), Electronics City, Kundanahalli and Banaswadi. That covers pretty much a huge portion of the even vaster city. The cab fare to and from the airport itself cost more than a day's rental with carzonrent! Not to mention the sheer convenience of not having to depend on friends to drop you, or the interminable wait for a Meru cab. I used a BMTC Volvo bus on the routes along ORR, which meant walking to and from bus stops and waiting time for the bus as well.

Next time I know what to do! And if it's an unfamiliar city, they are tossing in a GPS for just 300/day (if I have a fellow passenger, will just use Google maps on a smartphone). I sincerely hope this model works and matures.
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Old 17th February 2014, 17:38   #5
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Next time I know what to do! And if it's an unfamiliar city, they are tossing in a GPS for just 300/day (if I have a fellow passenger, will just use Google maps on a smartphone). I sincerely hope this model works and matures.
If you come to Bangalore. Don't look further than Zoom. Their setup is much better than the myles setup.

Even more efficient and 11 pickup points. Major difference is Zoom includes fuel whereas myles is unlimited kms but you pay for fuel. Zoom doesn't charge additional till 225kms/day.

After the experience in Delhi, I booked an Innova in Jaipur for a family trip from Myles.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 17th February 2014 at 19:41.
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Old 17th February 2014, 17:56   #6
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

I think this is positively brilliant and a clear game changer for the self-drive business in India. I remember the last time we had a chauffered family trip in 2010 from BLR where the taxi turned up without the fitness certificate leading to us spending 3 hours at the Kerala RTO checkpoint. I think if we were to do it now, we'd take something like Myles / Zoom.

India is finally coming to terms with America of the 20th century
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Old 17th February 2014, 18:03   #7
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
If you come to Bangalore. Don't look further than Zoom. Their setup is much better than the myles setup.
+1 to Zoom

My friend took Zoom car (ford figo) recently for few days and was very happy with the decision. Now a days I spot Zoom cars regularly in Ecity area.
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Old 17th February 2014, 18:30   #8
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

@GTO - Had a query

Since its a yellow plate car, what docs / proof does the car have in case we are stopped by police for security checks?
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Old 17th February 2014, 19:36   #9
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

Dunno about the other cities (wrt all cars being available), but in Goa the options are huge! Right from smaller & larger hatchbacks (Santro, Beat, i10, Swift, etc) to sedans (Dzire, City, Sonata, etc) to S/MUVs (Innova, Xylo, Tavera and even a Thar!).

The Thar (Crde) comes at a nice 2500 per day tag, and the pick-up location is extremely close to the railway station. These guys seem to expect a lot of business from Goa for sure
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Old 17th February 2014, 21:07   #10
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

Hey, what'd they say about you slapping a teambhp sticker right onto their car? :P
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Old 17th February 2014, 21:15   #11
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

Quote:
Originally Posted by createrkid View Post
Hey, what'd they say about you slapping a teambhp sticker right onto their car? :P
We put it on after taking the car and removed it before returning it back.
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Old 17th February 2014, 23:28   #12
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarecrow View Post
Since its a yellow plate car, what docs / proof does the car have in case we are stopped by police for security checks?
Exactly my thoughts. Isn't it supposed to be yellow on black plates for self-drive rental cars?
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Old 18th February 2014, 13:11   #13
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I sincerely hope this model works and matures.
I think this is the first time that a large player has adopted an organized, full-fledged approach. Others we've seen so far have been half-hearted attempts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
If you come to Bangalore. Don't look further than Zoom. Their setup is much better than the myles setup.
If you want to rent for a full day (or 2 - 3 days), Carzonrent is cheaper (Vento from Zoom = 3000 vs 1,800 for Carzonrent). I understand the fuel is included with Zoom, but few people will be using Rs. 1,200 bucks of diesel in a single day (we didn't in 3 days!!).

If I don't need the space, much rather pick a Carzonrent Swift @ 1,300 / day than Zoom's Figo for 2,500 bucks.

Plus, if I'm flying into Bangalore, Carzonrent will come to the airport and pick me up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
I remember the last time we had a chauffered family trip in 2010
Main reason why I'd pick a self-drive Innova over the usual chauffeur-driven type = I trust my driving more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarecrow View Post
Since its a yellow plate car, what docs / proof does the car have in case we are stopped by police for security checks?
At the time of taking the Etios, I was given a rundown on the documents located in the glovebox. One of them had specific instructions "Use this if the police pull you over for driving a cab". Sorry, but I didn't take a picture of that document. We drove around Delhi & Noida. The Auto Expo venue was full of traffic cops, yet we weren't pulled over anywhere.

Considering that Carzonrent is investing 400 crores in their self-drive business, I'm pretty sure they've gotten the legalities worked out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Thar!


Quote:
Originally Posted by prkiran View Post
Exactly my thoughts. Isn't it supposed to be yellow on black plates for self-drive rental cars?
In recent time, the only black background + yellow font plates I've seen have been on rides used by 5 star hotels. EPCG imports, perhaps?

Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent-a8.jpg
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Old 18th February 2014, 14:09   #14
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
If you want to rent for a full day (or 2 - 3 days), Carzonrent is cheaper (Vento from Zoom = 3000 vs 1,800 for Carzonrent). I understand the fuel is included with Zoom, but few people will be using Rs. 1,200 bucks of diesel in a single day (we didn't in 3 days!!).

If I don't need the space, much rather pick a Carzonrent Swift @ 1,300 / day than Zoom's Figo for 2,500 bucks.

While Carzonrent is cheaper in certain circumstances, the deposit amount blocked by Carzonrent is quite steep.
This is the biggest advantage of Zoom, no deposit and no hassles, if there is any damage, the borrowers liability is limited to a maximum of 5000/-


@GTO, what was the lead time to have the deposit cancelled by Carzonrent.

I was informed it will take 7-10 days to have the deposit cancelled. Has this been changes now?

Last edited by speedmiester : 18th February 2014 at 14:14.
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Old 18th February 2014, 15:37   #15
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Default Re: Review: Self-Drive Car Rental from Myles, Carzonrent

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedmiester View Post
While Carzonrent is cheaper in certain circumstances, the deposit amount blocked by Carzonrent is quite steep.
This is the biggest advantage of Zoom, no deposit and no hassles, if there is any damage, the borrowers liability is limited to a maximum of 5000/-
Good point but in the case that there is no accident (which hopefully should be majority of the cases) it makes sense to have your card authorized for 30K and pay less per day, as you would with carzonrent. The card authorization is not a debit, you know. It just blocks your card temporarily for the amount swiped.
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