Drivy: ‘Even you can make a business out of sharing your car’
In a meeting with Quentin Lestavel, Country Manager of Drivy, the leading European car sharing platform, he confirms that car sharing is booming and that people can even make a living out of it.
“At the Midi Station in the south of Brussels we had one of our first customers who made up to 600 euro making his car available in front of the railway station. At the moment he already has five cars and is making a real business of it.”
Drivy was created 8 years ago in France and has since then expanded all over Europe. In Belgium we know Drivy since 2016, in the UK it has just begun. The idea is to let people share their unused private car and get money in return.
Standing still 95% of time
“When we started Drivy we wanted to remediate the fact that practically all individually owned cars stand still (and occupy valuable space) for 95% of their life span”, says Quentin Lestavel.
“We are no car sharing device whatsoever for the inner city, Drivy is for people who need a car for longer distances, even for several days.”
“You could say that we are close to Cambio (one of the oldest car sharing platforms in Belgium – NMN) but at Drivy there is no subscription fee and the user has a choice of many different cars, better corresponding to his needs.”
Drivy is all about round-trips, it’s no free-floating platform where you can’t make reservations. It aims at longer trips and distances and it is eager to have partnerships with other sharing platforms that may be complimentary. In France Drivy already has partnerships with free-floating scooter and bike platforms.
In the beginning the person who rented his car and the person who hired it had to meet each other physically to hand over the car keys. Since practically 3 years this isn’t necessary anymore.
“At the end of 2015 we created Drivy Open, which is in fact a box in the car that can be opened by smartphone with a code the owner has given you. This way the owner can organize his rentals from a distance. The codes are highly secured, of course.”
Apparently this system is of great importance for the whole platform, in 3 years Drivy Open is already half of the total use within cities.
It also has opened up Drivy from individuals to professionals: more and more companies (with small or big car fleets) are getting interested.
Belgium in evolution?
Since its presence in Belgium Drivy has already realized 25.000 rental days and today there are already 1.500 cars in portfolio. Especially the users living in Brussels are appreciating Drivy Open, already 30% of them are using it.
“Local authorities can also play an important role in the promotion of platforms like Drivy. At certain strategic points they can have parking spaces reserved for Drivy, for example, which can attract people who want to rent cars in a professional way.”
Security and maintenance
“After every rent we ask for evaluations of the renters and the hirers, so that we can create a secure community and throw out the troublemakers.
The renting price is fixed by the car owner and includes 200 km of driving per day. From this price 15% goes to Drivy, 15% is used for insurance and road assistance (Touring in Belgium) and 70% is for the car owner.”
As from now, Drivy has concluded a partnership with Auto5 and Midas, specialists in car maintenance. An individual car owner who’s a Drivy partner can have a free checkup of his car (otherwise costing 49 euro) and when maintenance or repair is needed he gets a rebate.
“Drivy has been created out of a sustainability concern”, Lestivel concludes. We try to limit the age of the cars proposed to 8 years and cars having more than 200.000 km mileage are not accepted anymore.”
“Our aim is to replace 5 to 15 cars who are standing still for most of the time. It will take a certain time but between 2016 and Car2017 our reservation volume has quadrupled.
Car sharing becomes a habit
Our goals are simplicity, proximity, affordability and a large choice. We’ve also noticed that reservation scores are no longer seasonal anymore. Car sharing becomes a habit all year round. We spend a lot of time and energy in creating a real community.”