The company plans to expand its fleet to 1,000 cars within the next 12 months and to 10,000 by 2020. Source: Shutterstock

With Socar, vehicle-renting apps go mainstream in Malaysia

RENTING a car just got a lot easier in Malaysia.

Socar, the mobile app-based car-sharing program first launched in Korea, has arrived in Southeast Asian country’s shores with 240 vehicles in its fleet.

The programme has over 100 pick-up points scattered throughout Kuala Lumpur, the country’s capital.

Of the 240 vehicles, the Perodua Azia and the Honda City were split 30 percent each while the Honda HR-V and the MINI Cooper make up the remaining 40 percent of the available fleet, according to

To get started, Android and iOS users can download the app from their respective app stores and sign in. To register, users need to upload images of their NRIC, passport details and valid driver’s licenses for verification. The user is also required to verify their identities with their own image to match those contained in the documents.

After verification via SMS, users can start booking and head to a pinpointed Socar zone. The user also needs to take pictures of the car to verify its condition before going on their way.

If heading to the Socar zone is too cumbersome, the service provides a door-to-door delivery service at an additional RM5 but the service is currently limited to the Bangsar and Damansara Heights areas.

The pricing for the vehicles (before the Goods and Services Tax) is in the following.

Perodua Axia

Weekday ― MYR8.00/hour

Weekend ― MYR11.00/hour

Honda City

Weekday ― MYR9.90/hour

Weekend ― MYR15.90/hour

Honda HR-V

Weekday ― MYR18.90/hour

Weekend ― MYR25.00/hour

Mini Cooper

Weekday ― MYR25.00/hour

Weekend ― MYR30.00/hour

Typically, the apps user’s would hire a car from between 30 minutes up to two to four weeks.

Socar Malaysia CEO Leon Foong was quoted as saying that the majority of users hired the cars for hourly durations. The maximum duration of the rentals could be reduced during busy periods like Chinese New Year, he said.

In future, the company plans to expand its fleet to 1,000 cars within the next 12 months and to 10,000 by 2020. The company also said it was looking to provide 7-seater vehicles although the models have yet to be confirmed.

According to the Malay Mail Online (via SoyaCincau), the company has served over three million users with 9,000 cars over the last five years.

While car-sharing services are not new to the country, Socar appears to offer a more seamless solution compared with its older local rivals by offering a fully keyless and cardless entry to the vehicles as well as 300km mileage, including fuel.