I just came across this company called Moovby that provides car rental by hour services. The concept is simple; you have an idle car (like going to an office-bound 9-to-5 job) that someone may want to rent for a couple of hours and you make a couple of bucks of it.

Sounds like a great idea since someone is helping you to partially (or fully) pay for your monthly installment. You’re converting your vehicle’s idle time to income generation which, one the surface appears to be a smart thing to do.

Except it’s not only illegal, it’s highly risky for anyone who wants to rent their car out. I went through their website FAQ and here are some of the key points highlighted:-

  1. Vehicle should not be more than 6 years old
  2. As a renter, you need to upload your Identity Card (IC), driving license and utiliy bill (e.g astro/tnb) or matric card (if student).
  3. To list out your car, you will have to upload your vehicle’s grant and your car’s roadtax. We will screen it first and you will be able to start renting it out upon approval.
  4. We are currently in negotiations to provide an insurance policy to cover your car during the rental period.
  5. Renter is responsible to return the car with the same amount of fuel when the keys are being handed over. If the car is returned with less fuel, RM10/bar will be charged on renter.
  6. In case of accident, immediately inform Moovby regarding the incident who will “try their best” to assist you. Any involvement of a third party/agency before them, will not be under their responsibility. However, the renter will still have to take full responsibility on the damage.
  7. No more than one vehicle can be rented by a single person. The driver requesting should be the renter
  8. By default, car owners will be delivering the car to you if the distance is less than 3km. However, this is subject to negotiation between car owner and renter.
  9. No other persons may drive the car as the renter is the one supposed to drive the car. The renter shall take full responsibility during the rental period. A penalty will be imposed if found guilty.

There’s more but as you can see, the basis works just like Airbnb. The screening process supposedly provides a ‘safer’ experience for both renter and rentee. On what basis is the screening process done, no one knows at this point.

But here are the potential setbacks you may encounter if you choose to rent your car out using this;-

  1. If your vehicle is not registered as a hire vehicle, you are not allowed to loan the vehicle to another driver who’s not registered as a driver. Any who violates this would result in SPAD/JPJ having authority to impound your car for providing illegal service.
  2. I just renewed my roadtax I can confirm that the first additional driver (I put my mother) is free. Subsequent drivers would cost you RM10 per listing. If a person other than the listed driver is found to be behind the wheel in case of an accident, the insurance company would repudiate the cover since the terms and conditions of the policy has been breached.
  3. If the renter commits a crime while using the vehicle (ie speeding, parking offences or armed robbery), guess who gets hauled up in court?
  4. If your personal belongings (ie Smart Tag, umbrella, sunglasses, cigarette lighter, car charger or any small items that you may not notice immediately) gets stolen, you may not be compensated.
  5. If the renter smokes or leaves a peculiar offensive odor in your car (transporting durians or construction workers who’ve not bathed for a week), you may not be compensated.
  6. If the renter takes your car off-road and comes back with your car looking like it’s been in a kandang lembu, both inside and out, you may not be compensated.
  7. If there’s liquid spillage (either from drinks or human secretion normally found when a couple is in a deserted place), you may not be compensated.
  8. If minor scratches or damages that’s not immediately noticeable and you did not immediately report it, you may not be compensated.
  9. If major scratches or damages that’s disputed between owner and renter (it was already there when I took it!), you may not be compensated.
  10. If you rent your car to someone who took his date out to a nice place and your car is spotted by an auntie who then reported to your wife saying you’re out with a woman instead of being in the office as you so claimed and the horde of in-laws stormed your car with batons and sticks thinking you’re out having a good time while your 9-months pregnant wife is sobbing at home, you will not be compensated.

There’s a list of terms and conditions listed on their website, some of which covering the issues raised above but it would be interesting to see how they resolve areas of disputes, particularly relating to he-says-she-says damage that may-or-may-not-be-there during pick-up and drop off. Hell, I take media cars so often, there is a protocol when collecting them. Sometimes the company would just hand me the keys but I would insist to do a walkabout together just so we agree what kind of damage is already in place when I took it. Even then, if there are scratches during the use, some companies may require you respray the whole panel. It depends on how severe they see the damage.

That’s not counting the safety risk you bring to your family in case some unscrupulous individuals spot bank documents like credit card bills (which has your correspondence address), access cards and house keys that can be cloned or a child car seat which indicates you have a child. Heaven knows what these people can do with these information at their finger tips. Even without a key, all they need is just drop a GPS tracker and they’ll know where you stay, with all the necessary tools to enter your home without breaking in.

Seriously, I can think of a thousand and one ways for your car to be seriously f*cked if you give it to a stranger whom you know very little off. If you want to reduce the burden placed on you by your car loan, there’s a few ways to do it; either don’t buy a car or buy one that’s more appropriate with your income.

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Though working in a field completely unrelated to the automotive industry, kenso has always had an interest in dabbling into the automotive industry, particularly business related aspects such as sales, marketing, strategic planning, blah blah blah. You can probably find better sources of technical specifications elsewhere if you dig long enough in the internet as this blog talks about the real life ramifications of who, what, where, when and why of the automotive world and focuses on relevant information to potential buyers.

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