subscription-based car ownership

This story was first published on Tech in Asia.

Automotive marketplace Carro is launching a subscription-based car service in Singapore. Consumers pay a flat monthly fee ranging from S$1,199 to S$1,999 to enjoy the convenience of owning a car, but without the usual hassles of traditional car ownership.

“A typical person takes nearly six years to pay off their car loan. Two-thirds of them even trade in their vehicle before they’ve paid it off, picking up yet another loan,” said founder and CEO Aaron Tan. “We are empowering consumers with the flexibility to drive the car of choice with the option to return it at any time, no strings attached.”

The Carro team / Photo credit: Carro

The company is offering three subscription plans: Daily (S$1,199 a month for cars like the Volkswagen Golf and Toyota Altis), Roomy (S$1,499 a month for SUVs and 7-seater cars), and Fancy (S$1,999 a month for luxury vehicles like a Mercedes-Benz or BMW).

Unlike car owners in Singapore, who typically own one particular car for a ten-year period, customers have the flexibility of switching plans based on their needs, as well as return the car at any time. The monthly fee is also inclusive of all costs associated with car ownership, such as insurance, road tax, and maintenance costs.

At the end of the subscription, customers can return the car with no questions asked about minor wear-and-tear, dents, and scratches.

Carro started out as a used car marketplace but has since expanded to include financing, insurance, and roadside assistance, among other services. The company – present in Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia – claims to be Southeast Asia’s largest automotive marketplace, having transacted over US$500 million worth of cars in 2018.

It last raised funding in mid-2017 – a US$12 million round to boost development for Genie Financial Services, its car financing subsidiary.

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