China's new trend: Renting cars for long holidays

16:54, October 08, 2010      

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China's seven-day National Day holiday has just past. When people got back to work, saw their colleagues and asked about their holidays, reporters found an interesting new trend in Beijing and Shanghai during the nationwide holiday – more people rented cars for their vacations.

The customers' freedom to use the cars as they wish, the good price and convenient rental procedure are the major reasons that more people choose to rent cars and drive themselves during the holidays.

Case I, Wang Shanshan, Shenzhou Car Rental Store

Wang Shanshan, an editor of some magazine, went to the Shenzhou Car Rental Store to pick up her rental car on Oct. 3 at Sihui, Chaoyang District in Beijing. She said that she already taken her driving license exam three years ago, but she didn't buy her own car because of "the terrible traffic situation in Beijing, high cost for maintaining a car and shortage of parking places."

During the National Day holiday of this year, she and her husband decided to have short trip in the suburbs, so they rented a car. "It is very cost effective to rent a car. And it just cost me less than 800 yuan, including petrol, in three days," she said.

According to the store, there wasn't any car available for rental because all the cars in the store were reserved before the vacation started, and other car rental stores were basically the same. A person in charge of a car rental store close to the East Gate of Tsinghua University said there were about 20 to 30 percent more people who chose to rent cars than last year. After calling three other car rental stores in the city, reporters learned that most cars in those stores were rented out already.

The situation in Shanghai was mostly the same as in Beijing. Citizens who planned to rent cars made reservations nearly one week before the holiday.

Case II, Wang Hongbo, Badaling Great Wall

Wang came all the way from Liuzhou of Guangxi Province to the capital for the holidays, and he rented a car together with his three other friends.

He listed all the fees they need to pay for the car, including petrol, toll and parking, and it was less than 400 yuan per day, and less than 100 yuan for every person.

"It is faster than taking the bus and cheaper than taking a cab. And the most important thing is we can stay together and go wherever we want to go." Wang said.

Wang Hongbo, as a person who has rented a car many times, also mentioned that "It is much easier to rent a car than it once was. The renters only have to provide their ID cards, driving licenses and credit cards, but not make a guarantee and pay a deposit any more. And also you don't have to return the car where you rented it, but to any chained store."

Just like what Wang said, some car rental companies in Shanghai already carried out the policy of renting cars with no guarantee and deposit in other places two years ago. For now, if you want to rent a car, it will only take you ten minutes to drive the car away under normal circumstances. But years ago, it might have taken half an hour at least, and also renters had to pay more than 10,000 yuan as a deposit.

Car rental industry is becoming capital's new focus in cities

With the increase in the number of people renting cars, car rental prices also increased by 10 to 20 percent year on year during the National Day period.

Take the renting price of a famous car brand as an example; it would cost 439 yuan on average days in one store, while it was increased to 553 yuan in the long holiday. And in another store, the rental price for the same car also increased by 50 yuan during the holiday. At the same time, some promotional activities, which used to be carried out in normal days, were all cancelled during the period.

Learning to drive doesn't mean one has to buy a car. Car rental, as a new kind of service, is a new way of going on an outing and a new channel for marketing cars. It is entering its season in China and becoming the capital's new focus.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online


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