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You needn't own a classy Porsche for your road trip. Just take one on rent

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The renting and sharing economy is thriving all over the globe, including India, though it is in its early stages here. Anuradha Chopra, who works as a senior human resource manager with a non-banking financial company, recently went on a ten-day road trip with some of her friends from Delhi to Shimla. Chopra, who is in her late twenties, took a Porsche on hire from a self-drive car rental company. She loves to drive premium cars, but feels it isn't a good idea to own one.

Buying not worth the trouble: In space-starved cities such as Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru, among several others, one can hardly go beyond 40 kilometres per hour while using cars for day-to-day travelling. Like many others in this space, Chopra is among the growing group of people that prefers to rent cars and even high-end bikes to meet their travel needs. “Renting a car is simpler and pocket-friendly as it includes no additional expenses like regular maintenance, insurance, etc., making it a more favourable option for many users,” says Sunil Gupta, managing director and chief executive officer, Avis India.

Players such as Ola and Uber have already transformed daily transportation, prompting people to question the logic of buying and owing a car, which comes with huge maintenance and ownership costs. In the self-drive sector, various companies such as Zoomcars, Avis, Kayak and Urbandrive are booming. Experts say the personal driving segment and renting of luxury cars is growing rapidly because of the hassle-free services on offer. “Special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, long drives and road trips are the most usual reasons for renting a luxury car,” says Raghav Belavadi,  CEO, Hype.

According to car rental companies, most of the demand is for luxury MUVs and SUVs. In the sports car range, Porsche, Lamborghini and Ford Mustang are very popular.

Most self-driven car rental services offer wheels on rent for both short-term and long-term periods - hourly, daily, weekly and even monthly basis - either for self-driven or chauffeur-driven services. While a BMW 3 series can be hired for as little as Rs 7,840 a day and Rs 120,000 for 10 days, a Porche Boxster can be hired for Rs 89,600 a day and Rs 1,096,000 for 10 days.

Companies also charge a refundable deposit ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 200,000 for high-end cars at the time of booking. Most of these companies also give the option of pick-up and drop at different locations and also home-delivery of the car, but with additional charges. The cost of fuel is borne by the customer.

Luxury on two wheels: Besides luxury cars, renting high-end two wheelers is also becoming quite popular. Bikes are mostly hired for road trips, with rental charges ranging from Rs 300-500 for an hour, to Rs 14,000 for a day. Premium bikes of brands such as Royal Enfield, Harley Davidson, Ducati, Kawasaki and Triumph Bonneville are the most popular ones. While a Harley Davidson Street Rod can be rented for Rs 6,000 a day, a Suzuki Hayabusa will cost you Rs 13,610.

People with earnings even below Rs 50,000 a month can now easily drive around in a Mercedes or a BMW. However, damaging these cars can burn a hole in your pocket. While all the vehicles are insured by the rental companies, damage liability ranges from Rs 7,000 for minor accidents to almost Rs 200,000 for major accidents. “In case of minor scratches, the amount is deducted from the security deposit and in case of any damages that exceed the deposited amount, the customer is liable to pay the entire cost of repair,” says Gupta of Avis. He adds that these services give an opportunity to common people to experience the luxury of driving a premium car without owning one.