Singapore-based classified horizontal Carousell has partnered with Carzuno to offer the service, through which customers can “subscribe” to a car of their choosing, renting it for anything between a month and two years.
The new partnership aims to tackle the issue of affordability for Singaporeans, who often can’t afford to buy a car, given stringent government controls on vehicle numbers in the city-state.
The latest offering in its recently launched Carousell Certified program sees the re-commerce marketplace and new partner Carzuno offer some 50 models with prices starting at around SGD2,000 ($1,500 U.S.) a month, for a 2019 Toyota Vios 1.5, rising to SGD4,699 ($3,550 U.S.) for a 2021 Tesla Model 3 Electric.
The subscription period runs from one to 24 months, but some cars are only available on minimum six-month packages.
The monthly fee for a 12-month subscription to a 2023 Toyota Yaris Cross is SGD2,199 ($1,664 U.S.), while the cost of the fully electric 2022 BYD E6 is SGD2,499 ($1,891 U.S.) per month, based on a 12-month subscription.
Mercedes-Benz was the best-selling car in Singapore in 2022, according to the Land Transport Authority. A 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA200 1.4 costs SGD3,199 a month, but with a minimum six-month subscription, according to the website.
In 2018, Guinness World Records listed Singapore as the most expensive place in the world to buy a car. That’s because land is so scarce the government has regulated the number of cars on the roads since 1990, using something called a Certificate of Entitlement (COE), which Singaporeans must bid for before buying a car.
COEs last for 10 years and are bought via an open ballot system, held twice a month. The latest winning bids in July for a Category A COE, which covers all cars up to 1600cc, averaged SGD97,905.
Category D, which covers motorbikes, averaged SGD10,249 ($7,700 U.S.), and was the most popular category, unsurprisingly.
With the government regulating the number of COEs available, the price has been steadily rising, and younger Singaporeans, especially families with young children, are struggling to afford them.
Carousell and Carzuno hope their subscription model, similar to Carro’s Leap or Flux Malaysia’s subscription services, both launched in 2019, will give Singaporeans more private transport options.
All of the cars on offer come with COEs. The certified cars also come with insurance, maintenance, 24/7 roadside assistance, unlimited mileage and doorstep delivery and pick-up already priced in.
“Car subscriptions also allow for the flexibility to change different car models, be it to suit changing needs or to try out a model before committing to a purchase, without the hassle of traditional car rental and car sharing,” the company said in its statement.
“Besides being known for being able to buy and sell secondhand cars, Carousell has the largest platform for rental cars in Singapore,” said Carousell Singapore’s head of autos, Sanjay Shivkumar (LinkedIn profile).
“In recent years, we have had more requests to offer car subscription services as well, and we have seen growing demand globally, especially among eco-conscious drivers who want to use electric vehicles without the hefty price tag. Hence, we are excited to partner with Carzuno to launch a service that puts our users’ convenience first and provides more choice.”
“Combining Carousell’s reach of one in three Singaporeans as monthly active users with our large fleet and variety of 50 car models, we are excited to give Singaporeans more flexibility and freedom in driving the car of their choice,” added Carzuno CEO Kim Jonsson (LinkedIn profile).
“It is as simple as filling in a three-minute form, uploading a copy of your driver’s license, adding fuel to the car, and enjoying your drive. Users can also have the peace of mind that the cars available are in tip-top condition from regular servicing and maintenance.”
In July, the total allowed quota of COEs in Singapore across all categories was limited to 1,845 vehicles. Some 2,560 bids were received, of which 1,795 were successful.
The COE was introduced in 1990 as part of the Vehicle Quota System, to impose a cap on the number of new vehicles that can be registered in land-scarce Singapore.
Carousell Certified listings are available in cars, luxury, mobile and sneaker categories with the ‘Certified’ tag, and are sold by either Carousell official stores or from authorized Carousell certified partners.
Carousell says its certified cars are inspected and road-tested by certified mechanics and backed with a 12-month warranty on major vehicle components, and that the vehicles are priced fairly, with no hidden costs.
Founded in 2012, Carousell is a multi-category classified and re-commerce marketplace with a range of products across a variety of categories, including cars, lifestyle, gadgets and fashion accessories.
Carzuno is a car subscription company in Singapore, offering a range of vehicles on 1-, 6-, 12- and 24-month subscriptions.