News
Gee Whizz More Car-Sharing Options
By The Straits Times | 10 May 2003

A FOURTH player has entered the car-sharing business here.
WhizzCar, which started in January, has already roped in more than 100 members.
'Our target for May and June is to recruit another 300 to 400 members when we expand to another eight locations.' says Ms Gina Yao, marketing manager of Popular Rent A Car which is behind WhizzCar.
Its cars are based in Choa Chu Kang, Hougang Central and Singapore Post Centre.
WhizzCar joins three other players which feed the appetite here for access to cars but without the need to pay high ownership costs. Apart from annual fees which range from $100 to $125, members pay for usage, usually in hourly blocks.
With costs now as low as $10 an hour, it is no wonder that more people are signing up.
Last year, membership rose by 45 per cent at NTUC Income Car Coop, which pioneered the concept here.
And in a move to expand the market, it has reportedly approached more than 10 car-rental firms here to start similar schemes, offering them its know-how and facilities.
Which is why WhizzCar makes use of NTUC's 24-hour call centre. NTUC Income, which launched its scheme from Toh Yi estate in 1997, has since gone on to recruit over 3,000 members. It hopes to have 5,000 by year-end, says Mr Lai Meng, manager, business enterprise.
They keep 110 cars based in 27 locations, like the Rivervale executive condo, busy.
While NTUC is mum on whether there is money to be made from keeping an $8 million inventory of cars, it says it makes the business viable by watching costs.
Certainly, there is potential, given that the other two players have also expanded.
ICVS (Intelligent Community Vehicle System), started by Honda last year, has expanded its fleet of hybrid Civics to 30. They are based in five downtown sites.
It now has more than 190 members from an initial 50, says Mr Shawn Wong, business development executive, Honda ICVS Singapore.
'Most of our members are professionals, managers, executives and businessmen who work within the CBD.'
One perk that Honda ICVS offers over others is that it lets members return the car to the base convenient to them.
Meanwhile, CitySpeed, which started last year, is also going places. Linked to ComfortDelGro, it has 600 members who can collect their cars from 29 stations, including one at Nanyang Technological University.
And with NTUC willing to help others to enter the car-sharing business, one can expect more players.