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Tribecar: The New Alternative to Owning a Car?

In recent news, ultra short-term rental company Tribecar has announced that it has increased its fleet fivefold in six months. The firm, which prides itself as a direct competitor of car-sharing operators, charges as little as $2 an hour for renting a vehicle. It now has 120 cars – up from 23 when it began operations in March. The small start-up also has more than 2,500 hirers, up from 210 when it started.

The company’s fleet consists of previous-generation Toyota Altis sedans, Mitsubishi Lancer sedans and Toyota Wish seven-seaters.

Created by a family which runs Malaysian conglomerate Insas, Tribecar uses a system which allows hirers to access cars with just their smartphone, bringing the convenience of hiring a car to users’ fingertips. It also offers short-term car rentals at competitive rates ranging from $2 to $6 an hour, which is much more appealing given that the flag-down fee of a normal taxi starts from $3.20.

Tribecar business development manager Charlene Kee has indicated that business is thriving, with 100% occupancy rates on weekends, and 79 to 80% on weekdays. She also notes that approximately 40% of their users utilise the cars to earn additional income through ride-hailing services such as Uber and Grab.

Given the exorbitant price tags that come along with purchasing a car, Tribecar seems like a brilliant alternative to commuting in Singapore. Although we do acknowledge that the value of ownership of a vehicle triumphs that of renting a car, it seems like driving in Singapore is fast becoming available to the wider public instead of solely being a luxury to those who can afford it. Additionally, with the popularity of ride-hailing locally, we are excited to see what lies in store for Tribecar with the growing demand for rental cars.

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