About a year back, I stumbled upon the world of self-drive cars and what they meant for planning road trips. Trust me, I thought it was supposed to be damn simple to reserve cars and be at peace once you have paid up.
Had planned a trip to Spiti from Delhi with a few friends, and for a change, we had not left anything for the Nth hour and reserved everything in advance, even the self-drive car. One day out, my friend went to pick up the ride and things began to unravel. There is no blame game happening here – I am simply listing my experience; yours could be different.
Some of the companies I researched before booking my ride were Zoomcar, Myles, MyChoize, Revv as I wanted the car for more than a week and we had planned to drive a lot.
- Myles – Well, this is the one I had picked after a lot of research, and guess what, it had “unlimited kms” and fit our budget beautifully. I guess I was also to be blamed for not reading all the fine print, however, till date I am not certain if the clauses are there. It actually came off as Ripley’s Believe it or Not – Your license and Aadhar addresses do not match, we can’t give you the car till the two addresses match. Great! We sourced a new set of details of another friend travelling with us. Bummer – the license was not valid for more than a year, thus, couldn’t get the car. Gracious part – they refunded the money pretty swiftly and no cancellation charges applied, which they initially wanted.
- Zoomcar – Since we had planned to clock a lot of kms, we let this option go as they did not have an option for unlimited kms and it was definitely going to cost us a lot more compared to other self-drive car companies. They also have the rule that two addresses need to be the same.
- MyChoize – This also had unlimited kms but was a tad bit expensive compared to Myles at that time. At that time, it seemed to be priced well below the others. Booked a car with them after a lot of phone calls, and while my friend was on the way, we received a call from them stating that the car was no longer available. At that time, they did not have the funny rule of the two addresses being the same.
- Revv – They also have an option of unlimited kms and are priced quite reasonably, but we did not consider this at that time, and later on, it was too late. They do not have a rule of the two addresses being the same’ they check your passport and license.
It was now approximately 2100 hours and I was on my way to the airport in Mumbai – Delhi and the whole trip seemed to be falling apart since we did not have a car to start our journey the next day at 0900 hours. One of my colleagues at that point called and said, “Hey, sending you ZopRent’s number; a self-drive car service I know of; they seem to have cars available right now; try calling”. Boss, those guys were pure angels and sorted everything before I boarded my flight.
- ZopRent – Had not seen their website at that moment, simply called on their number and they quoted a fairly decent price with unlimited kms. Took the deal and paid through the portal, the link to which they had shared. They acknowledged the payment and assured me that when I land, I can pick up the car from the airport. True to their word, it was sorted and I went “Phew!” as our trip was back on track. They were quite happy with a copy of my license and passport. Guess what, after all this running around, the documents I signed for ZopRent were actually Myles.
Summing up a few points on the essentials of self-drive cars:
- Reserve a car based on the approximate kms you would be driving
- Make sure you ask for all possible lacunas e.g. address-matching, license validity
- Look for on-going discounts before your final purchase
- Pay all you state taxes before crossing over to the next state
All in all, hiring a car from any self-drive car company is a personal choice, and you would know your reasons best. Off late, I have become pretty loyal to Revv as I am yet to face any issues with them. 🙂
This is Amit from Lyf&Spice signing off, wishing all of you good health during the lockdown & subsequent phases of COVID-19 pandemic!
Drive Safe (when you’re able to). Till then – Stay Home, Stay Safe.
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**Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Lyf&Spice talks purely out of experience. What may suit us, may not work for you. However, we’ve intended to collate handy tips in one post to help you get the essence of our road trip. Plan your trip smart, when you can, and have fun! Better yet, get in touch with us for help. Cheers.
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