There’s a reason why I googled ‘scooter rentals near me’ a few months ago. Well, that, apart from the reason that several riders with yellow helmets on yellow bikes have left me curious in the way they whizz past me, while my car remains unmoved at bottlenecks.
I’ve been driving myself to work for a little over 4 years now. Back then, buying a car was an investment, with the added benefit of having my own privacy. I did the math, took all the variables into account, and was confident that buying my own vehicle was a smart move. I was simply happy I could drive to work comfortably. And traffic wasn’t nearly as bad back then as it is today.
Four years seems to have taken a giant leap. Because I’d never fathomed that I’d almost regret it — and I say almost because I don’t want to completely deny the fact that owning a car has made my life easier. However, today, I re-evaluate that decision based on my experience of owning a car.
Some, like me, fall for the flair of ownership, and others, also like me, go to the extent of questioning it. Just a few days ago, I was catching up on my morning reading, and an article caught my attention. It was about why millennials prefer renting over ownership, and it wasn’t all about affordability.
Unlike the generations before us, today, we’ve gone a step ahead in evaluating what we truly get from ‘owning’ something. The article mentioned that nearly 40% of urban India lives on rentals, due to which the demand for rental services has been on the rise, to accommodate this change.
So, if it were up to me, I’d say why own when you can rent? Why add to the rising pollution levels in Bangalore by buying yet another car? If we can make smarter choices, use public transport as much as we can, and adopt other mobility options like scooter rentals, maybe we’d become that change we wish to see. Lesser traffic jams and cleaner air to breathe would be a refreshing Bangalore, don’t you think?
But if that doesn’t convince you, let me go a step further and tell you why I think buying that car four years ago feels like a mistake today.
It’s just too much stress
For starters, I’m still paying monthly EMI for the car I purchased a few years back. To make things worse, the time I spend at bottle-necks is increasing with every passing day. The feeling piles on when I see Bounce scooters whizzing past me on the fast lane. And here I sit at my steering wheel, wondering why I’m paying monthly installments for something that’s adding to my problems, rather than solving them.
If I had the option to rent a scooter back then, I would have avoided that car loan. It’s just too much stress. Stress to pay my EMIs on time. Stress in my social life, well, because you just can’t have fun when you’re living hand-to-mouth paying off a huge chunk of debt. Add to that, parking stress, and yet never reaching office on time; or, let’s talk about the poor resale value of a car, because, by the time I break even, its value would’ve depreciated.
The parking dilemma is very real
The number of four-wheeler vehicles in Bangalore is close to 14 lakhs alone. It’s mind-boggling that the number of cars on the roads is severely disproportionate to the parking space available to accommodate them.
If you don’t find parking, you gotta make parking. Or in my case, park only to have the police lock the car wheels in a legal parking space. Getting into a conversation with them on why I’m not wrong, and how a no-parking signboard should’ve been placed there is an added waste of my time. I end up having to dole out that additional fine in order to get my car back. Not worth it.
I prefer short term goals
Let’s face it, our generation sets goals as short as our attention spans. We’re constantly finding things to do, binge on experiences, and ride high on life. And we hate waiting. We’re the generation that has no qualms about spending those 4 long years studying engineering, only to work as a full time marketer, but cannot for our own sake wait at that signal for two minutes, without honking. Times are changing, and for a generation that can barely hold a relationship, owning a car is a far cry.
Unlike generations before us, we don’t carry the same baggage of responsibilities like getting married at a certain age, or owning a house at a certain age, or even think of setting goals like that. We’d rather visit Europe before 27. Start our own company or own a food truck before 30. Learn 7 new languages by 35. Make it to the NH7 Weekender every year, if possible. Finally release that music. Become rich at 40. Or perhaps, something simpler.
Our fear of commitment has gotten the better of us. We binge on experiences. Saving to buy a car is the last thing on our minds, when the world is our oyster and there’s so much left to explore.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
I, personally, go by the motto that for as long as I can get to places, avoid those bottle-necks, make it to my meetings on time, and still have a social life with nobody to beat me down on loan reimbursements, I’m really okay. There ain’t nothing to fix if it ain’t broke in the first place.
Sadly, in my case, I continue to pay EMIs on a vehicle I purchased 4 years ago, the service cost on my car is itself a hefty amount every month, and added to that, the cost of fueling is an added expense.
For someone like me, it makes sense to leave my car back home and opt to rent a scooter instead. Scooter rentals have made lives simpler. My savings has been more, and not just monetary – this is keeping in mind the distance I travel, the time I save on my commute, the cashbacks I get on every refuel, the anywhere pick & drop option, helmets in every scooter and all my rides insured; it’s a win-win-win-win-win!
But on my car, those monthly EMIs suck. Hunting for parking space? Major turn-off. Monthly maintenance costs? Yes. Spend on for that daily car-wash? Yes!
On the other hand, get to places on time? Always. Bounce outta traffic? Heck, there’s a LOT that a scooter can do. Monthly EMIs? None. Insurance? Check. Helmets? Check. Parking? Ever heard of Bounce Zones, or pick & drop anywhere? Maintenance costs? Um, no. Fuel costs? Here’s your chance to earn. So, NO.
But hey, don’t just take it from me. You gotta try it to know it 😉
Note: This is a guest post by one of our community members.
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Bounce is India’s first two-wheeler rental service, on a mission to make daily commute affordable, accessible and convenient to commuters from all walks of life.