Entering the Lunar New Year 2024 holiday season, the demand for travel increases significantly, leading to a surge in self-driving car rental services. At the moment, many self-driving car rental companies have announced that they are out of cars or only have poor-quality cars available at exorbitant rental prices.
Struggling to find a rental car to take his family back to Nam Dinh for the upcoming Lunar New Year, Mr. Do Duy Thinh said that he has been contacting many self-driving car rental companies to inquire about rentals but has received notifications that they are out of cars or only have cars that do not meet his needs.
If I rent a Class A car like the Grand i10 or Kia Morning, it will cost me over 1 million VND/day. For 10 days of Tet, my family will spend over 10 million VND on car rentals. Despite being willing to spend a large amount of money to have a car for convenient transportation, I still can’t find a rental car as it’s close to Tet. So, my plan is to rent a taxi to go back to my hometown, and next year, I will learn from my experience and make a reservation earlier,” Mr. Thinh said.
The owner of a self-driving car rental company in Van Phu urban area (Ha Dong, Hanoi) said that they currently only have one Kia Morning manual transmission car, an old edition, available for 1 million VND/day. A 10-day Tet rental package will cost 10 million VND.
“Only those who have made reservations at least a month in advance have good cars to use. At the present time, it is impossible to rent a car, except for those that are poor quality and no one wants,” he said.
He added that due to the high demand from customers, even though rental prices for cars during the Lunar New Year holidays in 2024 have skyrocketed, they are still “sold out.”
“For example, with a Mazda 3, the rental price is only 1 million VND/day on normal days, but during Tet, the price will be 1.8 million VND/day. Renting it for the entire 10-day Tet period will cost 18 million VND. The price has nearly doubled, but the supply still cannot meet the demand. My company ran out of cars about two weeks before Tet,” he said.
The owner’s company has more than 40 cars available for rental, all of which have been reserved and handed over before the Lunar New Year holiday, expected to bring in nearly 200 million VND. To rent a self-driving car, customers need to provide their ID card, driver’s license, and a cash deposit or high-value assets such as a motorcycle.
Explaining this, the owners of rental companies said that self-driving car rentals carry many risks because they are high-value assets, and at the same time, the owners cannot foresee accidents, theft, or fines.
Providing advice for customers who want to rent self-driving cars, Mr. Nguyen The Phuc, the owner of a self-driving car rental company on Pham Van Dong Road, said: “Most self-driving car rental services approach customers through the social network Facebook. Therefore, when customers want to rent a car, they should choose accounts that have been active for a long time, constantly updating information to avoid situations where they pay a deposit or wait but the rental company doesn’t deliver the car as promised.
“In addition, customers should carefully research when choosing a rental company based on prices advertised on social media. Many companies advertise daily rental prices as low as 500,000 to 600,000 VND, but during the rental process, they will charge many extra fees such as car wash fees, fuel fees, and more commonly, fees for exceeding the limited distance. In the end, it will be very expensive, and customers will suffer many disadvantages,” he said.
Not only small self-driving car rental businesses “sold out” during the Lunar New Year holidays in 2024, but the Xanh SM car company also announced that they have run out of cars for rental in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.