Want to test-drive a Tesla? Hong Kong car-sharing company secures Hyundai deal ... with Model S coming soon

Carshare.hk lets potential buyers try before they buy while helping car owners earn money by renting out their vehicles when not in use

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 February, 2016, 11:48am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 February, 2016, 12:35pm

Users of Carshare.hk can now rent four Hyundai models including the latest Elantra in the city courtesy of a new collaboration with the South Korean automaker.

This should help potential buyers decide whether the model they have been eyeing is a good fit before committing to purchase one, according to Carshare.hk founder Christopher Yeung.

“Some users want to test-drive a car, but at a traditional showroom they may only have about 30 minutes to drive it,” said Yeung.

“But with Carshare.hk, users can rent a car [of their choice] at about HK$500 and drive it for the whole day.”

The car-sharing platform allows car owners to rent out their vehicles when they are not in use. Launched in 2013, it now has about 1,500 car-owners and 20,000 people who rent their vehicles on its books.

Apart from the new Elantra, one of the automaker’s best-selling models, members can opt for a Tucson SUV, Santa Fe seven-seater or Genesis luxury saloon. Daily rental prices range from HK$499 to HK$1,299 (US$64 to $167).

Carshare.hk aims to lead the way in flexible car ownership by allowing people who only want to use a vehicle sporadically to rent one easily, said Yeung.

“Our mission ... also helps to reduce congestion on the roads,” he added.

The deal with Hyundai comes after the start-up forged an earlier partnership with Chinese carmaker BYD, which initially provided it with six of its e6 electric cars.

“BYD has actually increased their fleet size with us since the partnership,” said Yeung.

Currently, Carshare.hk handles about 1,000 rentals a month. One of its most popular rentals is a Volkswagen Beetle with a personalised license plate that reads “JUSTWED”.

“I rent out my Mitsubishi i Turbo about four to six times a month on the weekend as I usually only use it to drive to work on weekdays,” said engineer Linus Cheung, who joined the platform last year.

“It’s great because I can get extra income,” he said.

Carshare.HK will soon allow owners of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and supercars to rent out their vehicles, it said . Tesla’s Model S, the best-selling sedan in Hong Kong last year, will also soon be available.

“We currently have about 20 Tesla owners who have signed up with our platform,” said Yeung.

“Once we have increased the price range of the insurance that we offer, users will be able to rent them.”