This post is brought to you by SOCAR Malaysia.
Need wheels for your next trip? The first thing that instantly pops up in your mind is to rent a car, after all it gives you the freedom and flexibility and in some parts of the world, it’s the only feasible way to get around.
However, renting a car can also add complications to your trip – like trying to find a reliable renting company or looking for the best deal to suit your needs. But all of these are now a thing of the past, thanks to the arrival of on-demand car sharing platform — SOCAR.
With SOCAR, urban dwellers like you and me can rent a car with just a few taps on our mobile phone. Instead of breaking a sweat trying to search for the best car renting deals from different car renting companies, SOCAR makes it easy for you to rent a car. Besides, you can enjoy the benefits of owning a car without the financial burden of a car loan or maintenance. Everything is taken care of with SOCAR.
I’ve tested out the app myself about a week ago, and I have to say, renting a car has become so easy and convenient with the help of SOCAR. Here’s my first time experience with SOCAR. I’ve also made a video about it, you can check out the video at the end of this post.
STEP 1: Download the app
First and foremost, you will have to download the SOCAR app which is available on both Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Step 2: Sign up for an account
Once you’ve successfully installed the app, you can register for your SOCAR account. Once you’ve registered for an account, you need to verify your identity by taking a selfie of yourself holding your identification card. Make sure that the picture is readable and not blocked by your fingers or anything else. You are also required to upload a picture of your driving license. Just one thing to note, if you’re a P-licence driver, you are not eligible to register for SOCAR.
Step 3: Approval from SOCAR
If your registration is approved, you will be notified via SMS. Usually the verification process will be done within 24 hours.
Step 4: Choose a car
Once registered, you can log into the app to locate a SOCAR nearest to you and pick a SOCAR of your choice. The SOCAR fleet includes Perodua Myvi, Perodua Axia, Honda City, Honda HRV, as well as Mini Cooper. There are currently over 100 SOCAR locations in Johor and Klang Valley.
SOCAR has also made it very affordable for you to rent cars for as low as RM8 per hour. If you are feeling luxurious, you can rent a BMW330e for RM42 per hour or you could go for a cheaper alternative by renting a Myvi for RM9 per hour.
For this case, I’ve chosen a Myvi.
Step 5: Select pick up and return time
Now, all you have to do is tap on your preferred time and SOCAR zone of your choice. Tap on “Apply”, and check your reservation information before you hit “Continue”.
Step 6: Make your payments
Once you’ve confirmed your reservation, you can proceed buy taping on “Book and Pay Now”. If you have a discount code, tap on “Promotion” and enter your promo code before checking out. For payment, SOCAR accepts debit and credit cards. At moment SOCAR offers a discounted subscription fee of RM10 (Normal price: RM50) which will be charged upon your first ride.
And you are basically done. All that’s left is to pick up your car at the location you’ve selected.
A good rule of thumb when you are renting a car is to take pictures of the vehicle before you start your journey. This, of course, means that a thorough inspection must be done. Snap photos of the car you’ve booked and make sure you save them on your camera because you will have to upload the pictures before you can unlock your SOCAR.
Everything about SOCAR is managed through the SOCAR app and it incorporates a keyless system. Once the pictures are uploaded, you can unlock and lock the car using the app and all it takes to start the engine is the push start button. Oh, and if you are a first-timer like me, make sure you hit the brake pedal when you are pushing the start button.
Here’s a tip. If you are locking/unlocking your car make sure you have a strong internet connection. You can also connect to the SOCAR using Bluetooth. I find this to be the most convenient especially when you’re in a basement with no mobile connection. To connect to the SOCAR using Bluetooth faster, turn your Bluetooth on and off when you’re near the car.
Once you’ve step into the car, you will notice a petrol card placed on the sun visor. This is because your fuel usage is covered by SOCAR. Yes, a SOCAR rental includes petrol as well. An hour of booking includes 30km worth of mileage. Anything beyond that is charged RM0.25 per km. Do note that you’ll need to return the car with at least 50% of fuel or you could be penalised RM100. Speaking of penalties, SOCAR is smoke free service. Users who are caught smoking or vaping in a SOCAR will face a fine of RM300.
Once you are done travelling with SOCAR, you’ll need to return it back to the same designated parking spot as the next member who has reserved the same car will be expecting the car to be there.
And if you are about to travel a long distance, do remember to bring along your Touch n’ Go card to pay for tolls and parking.
Overall, SOCAR is super convenient way to rent a car and it is much easier than booking a vehicle from a standard car rental company. There’s absolutely no paperwork required plus you can start driving a SOCAR within just 30 minutes of making a reservation.
To know more about my first time experience with SOCAR, check out this video:
By the way, KFC and SOCAR Malaysia have announced a new partnership which will increase the availability of car-sharing vehicles in the Klang Valley and Johor. You can also enjoy free and discounted SOCAR bookings when you dine-in or order KFC delivery from now until 28 February 2019. To learn more about it, you can refer to our previous post here.