Monday, May 27, 2019

Self-drive car rentals on the rise

READY TO GO. For those who want to explore Cebu on their own, self-drive car rentals are a convenient option. (SunStar photo/Allan Cuizon)

AS CEBU’S growing tourism industry continues to soar, an American car rental company wants to offer self-driving services to Cebuanos.

DriveServices Asia Pacific Corp. brought to Cebu the Alamo Enterprise and National Rent-A-Car franchises to give tourists an option to drive their own vehicles in their trips in the province.

“I’m based in Guam. Studying the whole market, Cebu is very similar to Guam because it’s a resort destination where we have the same type of market right now. Korean tourists are booming here, same as the Japanese, Chinese and former Filipino citizens now based in the United States and come home from time to time,” Pacita Tomada, president and general manager of DriveServices Asia Pacific Corp., said.

The Enterprise franchise in Cebu is a first in the country.

In the US, car rentals are primarily self-driven, and Tomada said she is hopeful that it will be established in Cebu, especially for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“We see a lot of balikbayans coming back, and we are very confident that there is a need for self-drive (services). Actually, based on our operations, we saw that the self-drive (service) is more profitable,” Tomada said.

She assured that they have insurance for both the driver and the car in case of accidents.

Audrey Tomada, general manager of DriveServices Asia, said that with self-drive cars, clients have the freedom to drive around Cebu with ease.

“Based on our bookings, there really is a market for self-drive. What’s unique for Enterprise is that we offer two products--self-drive and chauffeur service transport.

Right now, we get overbooked for self-drive cars,” she said.

Tomada said their franchise is applicable for the whole of Central Visayas.

Asked if ride-hailing app, Grab, affects the car rental industry, Todd Pfister, Enterprise regional director for Asia Pacific, said that they have different target consumers.

“We think Grab gets its customers at a moment’s notice, whereas what we want to leverage in the markets like in Korea, China and Japan is being that package deal.

Before they even land in a foreign country, their car is already ready,” Pfister said.

The company has 30 units composed of sedans, vans and sports utility vehicles, and will soon acquire luxury cars for both self-drive and chauffeur services.

They have offices in Mandaue City and a counter at the Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu Internation Airport.

Rates start at P2,000 per day for self-drive while the cost for chauffeur services varies.


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