Shared cars often used to take a nap…
Renting a car but not driving it? It happens all the time in Japan because a rented vehicle seems to be useful for other purposes like taking a nap quietly, as was the surprising conclusion of the Japanese car-sharing company, Orix Auto. According to the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, a particular group of users often rents a car without driving it. Also, other car sharing services came to the same conclusion: people rent a car and hardly drive any kilometers.
To find out what was going on, the Japanese market leader asked Docomo, a telecom provider with a car-sharing service, to interrogate its users. Soon they discovered that the shared cars are often used in the most creative ways. Some only like it for a nap; others use it for calling. Other answers to the inquiry were “to watch television,” “to lunch,” “to change for Halloween,” “to sing,” and “to rap.” “People use our cars for other purposes than we expected. They’re often seen as a private space,” explained a spokesperson for Docomo.
The significant advantage is that those cars are readily available. Besides, they’re cheap. Using a shared car only costs 400 yen or about 3,25 euros.
Eating and drinking
The Belgian car-sharing service, Poppy, does not allow people to eat or drink in the car, but the user’s directions don’t mention anything about sleeping or watching television.
Car sharing company Orix advises its users against renting their cars without driving any kilometers. “We believe our cars are meant to drive.”