Despite increases in the price of electricity due to political issues and the high price of electric vehicles overall as we wait for the various supply chains to increase production, overall, demand for EVs continues to increase. Data from Zap-Map shows that over 90% of EV users are happy with their choice and have no intention of ever going back to petrol/diesel. With so many of us considering/making the move across to an EV, the CEO and Founder of specialist EV company UFODRIVE is urging Brits to consider renting, instead of buying outright.
Aiden McClean spent his career in finance, but picking up a lung-full of dirty diesel fumes while cycling a few years back made him change everything and move 100% across to ‘clean tech'. Aiden partnered with Renaud Marquet in 2018 and together they set up the first all-digital, all-electric car rental company – which has since picked up major investment from companies like Hertz. Indeed, the software developed for UFODRIVE is being used by Hertz themselves.
What is it all about?
The process has been designed to be very simple and it consists of downloading the app, booking your car, experiencing your rental and then dropping it back. You can choose between single rentals or a monthly subscription.
Getting a Tesla Model 3 for a day is around £115, but if you rent it for a week – that drops down to £45 per day for the standard model and £65 for the long range. Working that out as a monthly rate tells you that this rental option only really makes sense when you need short-term use of a specific vehicles, with maximum flexibility.
So, according to Aiden, what are the key benefits of considering renting over other usage forms?
Skipping the queue for vehicle delivery
Given the lead times on some new vehicles, if you could simply rent it when you need it – then there could be advantages over buying.
Rentals include electricity, so that's something you don't need to factor in – but you may need to watch your overall mileage in case of ‘penalties'.
Try before you buy
Although some EV brands will organise extended test drives, many still operate the traditional 15-60 minute slots, which may not be enough time for you to make a truly informed decision. It's also crucial for successful EV ownership that you understand the charging options for you at home, in your neighbourhood and on the way to work/play. Actually driving the EV you want, for an extended period, could really help you understand the challenges you might face in switching to an EV full time.
Rent for the city or soul
Being able to switch cars easily means you can get something like an ID.3 for short hops about town – maybe at Christmas – and something bigger/faster like a Model Y when you need to travel inter-city. Whichever route you go, if you are renting – then you don't need to worry about which car to use on a given day – or where to park it for the days/weeks when you don't need it at all. Living in the city means that parking is scarce and expensive – challenges that you might be able to avoid by only renting when you need the vehicle.
Formalise your switch to EV today
Ever more of the UK's drivers are making the switch to emission-free driving, and that can start almost immediately for anyone who joins this kind of programme.
As well as consumer rentals, Aiden is hoping to attract commercial and private fleet drivers across – although the numbers for renting short term make a lot more sense than those for extended periods. Maybe that will change as the market grows and more competitors enter the arena.
For any vehicle, we recommend that you do the maths carefully – taking into account all of the upfront costs, depreciation and allowances, before deciding on the best option for you.