Proratacar: Buying & co-owning a car with a community of 12 users

If the car is in use by another user during your booking period, you get additional credits and the other user will have their credits docked

BHPian speedmiester recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I stumbled across Proratacar, which offers a platform for co-owing a car.

From what I could gather from the website, one needs to build a community of 12 like minded users and pool in funds to purchase a car:

  • Each member will pay 1/12th cost of car + AMC to the platform for managing insurance, booking platform, services, etc.
  • Each member gets to use the car for 30 days in a year. No hourly usage allowed..
  • One cannot just use the car when needed, they need to go through a booking process.
  • Members cannot carry forward the unused credit from previous years.
  • If the car is in use by another user during your booking period, you get additional credits and the other user will have their credits docked.

Cars offered on the platform include Toyota Fortuner, Crysta, Mahindra Thar, Jeep Wrangler, Range Rover Velar, Audi Q5, Q7, Merc GLC and Porsche Taycan. This could change, but then again how will one convince 12 people on a particular car?

Personally, I would never ever get into such a contract. There will be disagreements even with 3-4 people group, how will one manage 12 members and when money is involved.

It doesn't matter how close you are, there will be friction and this feels like an easiest way to build discord and alienate people.

What is wrong with hiring self drive cars?

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

Impossible that something like this will ever pick up in India. A car is not a Club Mahindra hotel room.

  • For us, owning a car brings a lot of pride & joy.
  • As a culture, we generally don't treat the property of others too well. That's why "sharing" sucks in India. You only have to listen to horror stories from car rental agencies & Airbnb hosts.
  • More convenient to simply rent when you need that SUV / MPV / bigger car.

Here's what BHPian LordSharan had to say on the matter:

On the question of convincing 12 people, one just needs to create a preference list of vehicles, which can be matched with other folks in platform.

There are other issues related to the entire idea:

  • Who owns the car overall?
  • 12 people together vying to book the same car can lead to lot of conflicts, especially during peak holiday season.
  • 12 people driving a car together will lead to lot of maintenance problems.

It's just a car club idea gone online. with a capex transferred to users instead of car club owner. Overall stupid, not viable, not profitable.

Doing a start up just because one wants to be a founder is the most stupid fad these days.

Here's what BHPian Cresterk had to say on the matter:

I will play the devil's advocate by saying, they do have a point. Most of the times, we have one practical car for everyday usage and one 7 seater for long trips. If they are willing to take care of the maintenance and service costs, it might make sense to pay a few lakhs upfront and have a car available on demand for family trips for years. It makes sense not to have it lying around collecting dust for most of the year. Where everything falls apart though is that there will be very high demand during holidays which is when most people would need the car. 12 people is way too much and there will be a lot of booking clashes. For normal rent a cars, there is surge pricing which takes care of the supply and demand issue.

I guess it's a way to start a car rental company without buying your own inventory and hoping people won't abuse the cars because they have a stake in it. Doubt it will take off unless the car shortage continues for years.

Here's what BHPian jigar1791@gmail had to say on the matter:

Interesting use-case, not sure how will it succeed.

We Indians (of a major chunk of car owning universe) still consider owing a vehicle as an aspiration, not as a necessity, unlike in the West/Mid-East. There's a lot of emotional attachment involved during the entire ownership journey from the purchase to the sell-off.

Wherever there's attachment involved, the idea of co-owing/sharing is knocked off from the equation for a vast majority of us (if you don't agree, try lending your car to someone not so well-known to you for a fortnight!).

Also, the cars listed on their website are all with high sticker prices and very little utility - from Thar all the way up to a Porsche.

Not sure what is the real problem statement the founding team is trying to address here - but the very concept of co-owning a car shall not succeed IMHO atleast in India.

At the end - wishing the Prorata Founding Team all the very best in their business.

Here's what BHPian Nilesh5417 had to say on the matter:

Trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist?

Its a timeshare model much like Mahindra Holidays. Not so expensive 10years ago and you could actually get rooms when and where you wanted. Now it's fastest finger first as soon as quota opens if you want to get bookings in peak periods irrespective of your membership category. New memberships cost a bomb (read pay by-emi) now that the idea has caught fancy. Atleast the idea has takers since holidays are expensive for a family and people still spend!

I think this idea of car sharing with 12 people at some fixed period in a year is just too messy! Why spend if you can't get it when you want it for the period you want. Not much flexibility for what you pay I feel.

Here's what BHPian theAutomaniac had to say on the matter:

I'd say such strategy would work at best if the owners are close friends who know and trust each other and their driving nature. This too, would not work very well with more than 4-5 people.

I personally know a friend who owns a Fortuner and a C-Class in partnership with his cousins. His Verna does the regular duties and these two are used when required and no one has a fixed day for driving. Basically, they operate on first come first serve model. And honestly, I have never seen him complaining.

Hence, I would believe such models definitely work, but only when the involved parties trust each other and aren't in a high number. Hence no, I would never invest in such a model unless it is an arrangement among my friends.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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