If you wanted to drive an Audi or a Ducati, but could only drool over your fascination, a start-up is offering you that experience to fuel that dream by loaning self-driven cars on hire.
Driven, the Hyderabad-based bootstrapped startup, started operations two months ago. It has a slew of marquee cars such as Porsche 911, Carrea 4S, Audi RS5, Volvo S60 T6 Polestar, besides Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, BMW 7 Series and also mini convertibles.
Besides cars, the company is also offering high-end bikes like Ducati, Triumph, Harley Davidson, Indian, Benelli, Kawasaki, KTM, Royal Enfield and Vespa. For those who would like to pedal bicycles and hi end ones at that, the company has two brands – Surly and Cannondale as of now.
The company has 150 cars, 50 bikes and 7 bicycles.
The founders, Ashwin Jain (41) and Karar Ahmed Taher (27) are enthusiastic about vehicles. Incidentally, Jain and Taher run independent businesses and have come together to set up Driven. Jain has been in the car rental business for over 19 years and says that the start-up has been founded to help those cannot afford to buy high-end cars to drive off in one. “With drivers being a scarcity, even those who can afford to buy these cars hesitate to buy it,” says Jain.
How it works
The consumer walks into the Driven café, a coffee shop that is run by Driven itself. After you select the car you want to hire, you can wait for it as you order a coffee and a sandwich. That could set you back Rs 200 on an average. The café too, is not surprisingly, done up in interiors that echo cars.
Vehicles are rented out in different business plans ranging from hourly basis to unlimited hours plans. The charges range from Rs 800 to Rs 4,000 for a car to Rs 300 and Rs 1,200 for a bike for an hour. There is also a zero mileage plan for those who want a car at their doorsteps if they want to go for a drive. The charges will be for the kilometers the vehicle has driven. It comprises 60-65 percent of the business for the start-up, says Jain.
Jain believes that self-driven car rentals will soon become the new mobility. “It is becoming increasingly difficult to get drivers,” he says.
The company is also into renting accessories for its customers like blue tooth, baby seats, navigation devices, etc. , and jell pads, jackets, helmet, and sipper bags for bikers.
It will expand its vehicles to 3,000 cars and 1,500 bikes over the next three years in two phases. Talks are on with potential investors to raise funds.
In the first phase, the company plans to set up a Driven café in Bangalore, Pune, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Chennai in six months time.