Drive it like you own it

The Asian Age.  | Michael Gonsalves

Business, Autos

The newest trend in Motown is to own a sedan or a sport utility vehicle without actually buying it. Surprised? Read on.

The company says this initiative has made the ownership experience of its vehicles more flexible, affordable and convenient.

Now you don’t have to shell out Rs 15 lakh to purchase your favourite sedan or Rs 20-25 lakh for an SUV for your family, this festive season. With buyers reluctant to loosen their purse strings in the slowing down economy, car companies such as home-grown Mahindra & Mahindra, Japanese giant Honda Cars and Korean carmaker Hyundai, have announced innovative schemes to sell their cars.

Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s biggest utility vehicle maker, has rolled out a subscription-based service for retail buyers of its cars. It has partnered with self-driving rental company Revv, which owns its fleet of vehicles. The company says the unique and flexible ownership experience for customers of Mahindra’s personal range of vehicles is an alternative to using a brand new car, making them forfeit the need to go for the purchase.  

The company says this initiative has made the ownership experience of its vehicles more flexible, affordable and convenient. Customers can avail Mahindra vehicles with a subscription price starting from Rs 19,720 per month, inclusive of insurance and routine maintenance charges. The scheme charges a refundable security deposit of Rs 25,000.

Buyers across Delhi (NCR), Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh, and Ahmedabad can presently avail the scheme, while other cities should be able to do so soon. This way, for a period of one year to four years (in case of a new car), people can pick from the variety of vehicles on which the scheme is valid — KUV100, XUV500, XUV300, Scorpio, TUV300, Marazzo and Alturas G4.

“The exciting part in this scheme is that it is flexible. One can come out of it after four months or one or two years and there is no penalty or liability to end it any time,” a spokesperson at Mahindra said, adding that it is not meant for longer-term usage. After all, if one pays Rs 20,000 per month, they’ll end up paying Rs 9.6 lakh in four years but own nothing.

The new subscription scheme comes with offers such as zero down payments, no road tax, zero risks on the resale value of the vehicle, and a fixed amount that includes routine maintenance costs. Most importantly, one has the option to change the vehicle model after a certain minimum subscription period.

Similarly, Honda Cars has also launched its new car leasing services in association with Orix, one of India’s largest car leasing and rental companies. As a part of it, customers can avail leasing options for the company’s vehicles such as CR-V, Civic and City, for both corporate and individual customers.

“Car leasing offers convenience, access to latest vehicles and enables customers to enjoy the perks of using a car without having to purchase it,” Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice President and Director, Sales and Marketing at Honda Cars India, explained.


For example, the company is offering the brand new Honda City, priced between Rs 12.08 lakh and Rs 13.08 lakh for a lease period of three, four and five years. If you take the option of lease without maintenance, the down payment is Rs 1.89 lakh and the monthly rental is Rs 25,103. At the end of the lease period, you can buy the car at `4.72 lakh. On the other hand, if you opt for lease with maintenance, there is no down payment but the monthly rental goes up to `30,000. This has no buyback option.

“Car leasing is gaining popularity in India and we are delighted to associate with Orix to offer tailor-made solutions for anyone who wants to enjoy benefits of the modern ownership experience,” Goel said.

 Hyundai has also partnered with Revv to provide their cars to customers on a subscription basis in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. Revv will offer Hyundai cars either on a monthly or a yearly basis. The fee will differ for each option and car model as well. Customers will only be required to pay a flat monthly fee. Maintenance and insurance charges will be taken care of by Revv. Customers will also have the option of swapping between different models, based on their requirement.

For instance, the total expenses for renting a Hyundai Santro in Pune for one month is `25,789. Out of this, `5,000 is a refundable security deposit. There is a `300 doorstep delivery and pickup fee also, which is included in the price.

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