Monday, May 08, 2006

Singapore Carshare Welcomes New Drivers

Bringing new drivers into the carsharing fold has been a catch 22 in the US and, until recently, was a problem in Singapore as well. One of the insurance requirements in Singapore, just like the US, is that drivers are required 3 years of driving experience in order to join. This meant that new drivers, the one's you'd most like to help avoid getting into the car ownership habit have no choice but to borrow cars or buy one.

According to a recent article, NTUC Income Car Coop, the oldest of 4 carshare companies in Singapore, teamed up with a driving school, the Bukit Batok Driving Centre, to provide vehicles by the hour especially for new drivers. The pilot program is called Car Access and the vehicles are located in a parking garage across from the driving school. The program will be evaluated after 4-6 months to determine whether to open it up to all new drivers.

Drivers under the Car Access program pay the regular one-time registration fee of $100 and refundable security deposit of $150 but pay a monthly membership fee of $20 (instead of the annual $120 fee; possbily because of the short duration of the pilot program). If the car is an accident the driver is responsible for the first $1,500 of damage.

It's time for a US insurance company to step up to the plate with something creative like this.

A link to the Electric New Paper article describing the program is at the LINK below.