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.
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.
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.
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.
Find them on the Web: