UAE carsharing platform ekar launches car subscription service in Saudi Arabia

The United Arab Emirates carsharing platform, ekar, offers a subscription-based car rental service throughout Saudi Arabia, in partnership with some of the kingdom’s largest car rental companies.

Subscription cars are delivered to the customer’s doorstep and come with insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance. Cars can be exchanged, exchanged or returned at any time.

The service offers an alternative to buying, leasing or renting a car for customers who want to have a personal vehicle without the cost or commitment of ownership, the company said on Monday.

“Ekar carsharing in Saudi Arabia has seen an increase in demand for longer-term bookings during the pandemic, especially among female drivers who choose ekar as their ‘first car solution’,” said Vilhelm Hedberg, founder of the society.

“Launching subscription rental is a perfect solution for our 100,000 users across the kingdom.

“The market is emerging in Saudi Arabia, and the combination of subscription rental and carsharing will make ekar the only app in the market that offers the full vertical of carsharing, by the minute carsharing. multi-month subscriptions. “

The subscription rental option, available through ekar’s mobile app, will be introduced in Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah, Mekkah, Taif, Abha and Jaizan in its first phase.

Carsharing apps that allow customers to rent a vehicle by the hour, or even by the minute, are growing in popularity. The pay-as-you-go model saves drivers on insurance, maintenance costs and loan payments.

More and more consumers are now open to vehicle subscription services, a survey of auto industry executives led by management consulting firm McKinsey found last year.

In 2016, Hedberg decided to fill the void in the Middle Eastern market by launching ekar, which is now the region’s largest carsharing platform, the company said.

The Emirati start-up offers a network of vehicles that can be reserved and unlocked via its mobile application. The service is used by more than 250,000 customers who have booked 1.6 million trips since the company was founded five years ago.

After introducing subscription rental in the United Arab Emirates in early 2021, the company is now poised to offer the service in Saudi Arabia, where the car rental and leasing market is expected to reach $ 2.5 billion. by 2026, Indian consultancy firm Mordor Intelligence said.

Ekar plans to expand into the global automotive subscription services market, with plans to launch in Malaysia, Turkey and Egypt over the next 12 months. Earlier this month, ekar announced that it would begin operations in Bangkok in January 2022, a move that will mark its expansion into Southeast Asia.

Update: December 27, 2021, 10:12 a.m.

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