There's a(nother) new car-sharing player in the Singapore market. How does GetGo, with its fleet of 400 vehicles, come up against other car-sharing services in Singapore, Tribecar and BlueSG?
Who can drive?
Tribecar is the most accommodating to new drivers. Though costs are higher, it's still better than nothing. Drivers must be at least 18 years old, Singaporean or PR, with a valid driving license. However, those under 23, or have driven for less than two years, can still apply but are subject to further restrictions.
Meanwhile for BlueSG, drivers are required to be 20 or older with a valid driving license of at least a year. This includes Singaporeans and foreigners with an International Driving Permit or a converted foreign driving license.
For new player GetGo, drivers have to be 19 or older, with a year of driving experience and with no major traffic violations or incidents.
BlueSG has the lowest upfront membership cost at $8 per month, with the first month free for new customers. Interestingly, their premium members would need to commit at least six months at $18/month – but they get 45 minutes free rental monthly.
Though the other two players have a seemingly higher cost to join, the deposit is refundable, either for the trip duration (GetGo) or your entire membership (Tribecar).
For GetGo, there is no cash deposit but a $200 credit or debit card refundable pre-authorisation charge, released after the booking ends.
Meanwhile Tribecar requires a $100 refundable deposit for Singaporeans/PR with a local driving license and $1000 for foreigners with either a local or international driving license. Members will be refunded after they terminate their account. There is an additional $100 deposit for drivers under 23 years and/or less than 2 years of local driving experience.
This is where it gets messy. Though they are all car-sharing platforms, each one operates differently. Hence deciding the one with the best value per trip will require some math.
For BlueSG, at 33 cents per minute (or $19.80/hour), it is the easiest to calculate but also the costliest. However, they have since introduced discounted rental packages.
For example, starting in March, you can book their three hour packages at $45.90 (U.P. $64.80) – weekdays or the weekend. But do note, additional charges apply for the booking of cars and parking lots. You may also risk driving to an already full parking lot and having to search another, while still on the rental clock.
After BlueSG, GetGo's pricing structure is just as easy to understand. It follows a modular price package of between $3 to $9 per hour depending on different times of the day.
Since the price excludes fuel, there is a mileage charge – 40 cents for every kilometre travelled. For example, a trip from Tampines to Ion Orchard would take roughly 34km back and forth – a $13.6 mileage fee would then be added to the rental charge.
Tribecar's exhaustingly exhaustive rates range from 54 cents to $4.82/hour for the Super Economy range and up to $5.89 to $13.91 per hour for the Premium MPVs range.
There are daily and weekly rates with new drivers subject to an additional 30 per cent charge. Depending on the car, you can either top-up before the trip (the car can be returned as long as the low-fuel warning light is not lit) or return the car with a full tank after the trip.
Car choices from fleet
With a fleet that includes motorcycles, lorries, vans, and even continental sedans, Tribecar is the clear winner.
Members can drive a hatchback like the Mazda 2 on a weekday, and then take the family out on a weekend with a MPV like the Toyota Wish. For a more luxurious drive, the BMW 216i and the Mercedes Benz C180 are also available.
Meanwhile GetGo's fleet include the Mazda 3 and the Toyota Sienta Hybrid, a sedan and MPV respectively. The Honda Shuttle Hybrid and the Ssangyong Tivoli will be added soon according to the company's managing director Toh Ting Feng.
Though BlueSG only has one choice, the compact Bolloré Bluecar, this 67 horsepower electric vehicle is ideal for environmentally conscious drivers.
Where to rent and return?
BlueSG is ideal for members who prefer flexibility. With many available stations islandwide, members can book and then return the vehicle at the same or different parking and charging lots, subject to availability.
Also, this can be a good option for commuting, driving from one location and then parking near to the destination. At times, it can even be cheaper than taking a ride-hailing service.
Contrast this with Tribecar and GetGo – which also has many locations available islandwide – members can only rent and return from the station, usually a multi-storey car park.
However, this is possibly for members who need longer-term rentals – for example, using the vehicle to visit multiple locations in one day and returning to the same starting location. Another example is driving out for supper with friends, taking advantage of the cheaper off-peak prices, and then going home after.
As with all car rentals, pray to the gods that you don't get stuck in a major traffic jam. Also, do your due diligence before starting the trip. Happy driving!