So Car: Making road trips cheap, chic, fun, one car at a time

So Car

Road-tripping just got cheap, chic and fun with So Car Malaysia. Source: Shutterstock

THE available apps in the car-sharing economy have half solved the problem of getting around while on vacation.

Thanks to Grab and Uber, long gone are the days of waiting for a delayed bus in a foreign town, wondering if you’ll end up at your intended destination or in Timbuktu.

So, for this, we are eternally grateful to the easy, cheap and ample transport alternatives.

But there remains one issue, Grab and Uber don’t give the new breed of digitally connected, adventure-seeking, independent and curious travelers the option of hopping in and out of a car when they fancy stopping to explore.

Luckily, however, Malaysia has just welcomed a new kid to the sharing economy club, So Car.

What is So Car?

So Car is a brilliant app-based car hire platform aiming to change the landscape of transportation.

Forget the traditional and pricey Hertz, Enterprise and Avis, So Car only charges you for the hours you drive. Petrol is included, and they have some snazzy cars in the fleet too.

This week, So Car is saying thank you to its users by offering US$0.75 (RM3) per hour car hire.

That’s cheaper than a subway ticket and the same price as Malaysia’s national dish – nasi lemak.

How does it work?

So Car

Source: Holly Patrick / Travel Wire Asia

So Car runs entirely through an app, and while there is a 24-hour live help hotline, we doubt you’ll need it.

Simply download the app from App Store or Google Play, enter payment details and wait for your driver’s license to be verified, then chose from over 300 cars.

So Car offers the newest Peroduas, great for whipping around the city; a range of Honda’s for extra room and comfort; and Minis for the chicest ride in Malaysia.

The prices vary for each car, but there is something to suit everyone’s budget and personality.

Another winning factor of So Car is the numerous locations cars can be picked up and dropped off.

Forget fumbling around in an airport car park after a long flight looking for what seems to be a needle in a haystack.

Instead, let So Car find your nearest pick-up location and direct you to your ride.

Each car runs on a keyless system, so your phone becomes your key.

Conveniently operated via an internet connection or Bluetooth, the only thing you need to worry about is charging your phone.

Petrol is covered by So Car for up to 30-kilometers per hour.

If you happen to go over just use the provided Shell Fuel Card stored in the sun visor to top up and the US$0.063 (RM0.25) per kilometer charge will be debited from your account upon return.

There are no hidden fees with So Car. Insurance and breakdown cover is included in the one-off fee too.

So, the only surprise you’ll get with So Car is a pleasant one, wishing you’d discovered it sooner.

Why So Car?

SO Car

So Car lets you visit places trains, buses and even taxis won’t. Source: Holly Patrick / Travel Wire Asia

So Car gives you the freedom other car-sharing platforms don’t.

The platform allows you to travel at your own leisure, to see every corner of Malaysia for a very reasonable cost, as little as US$2 (RM8) per hour in some cases.

This means you can see the weaving roads of the Cameron Highlands or drive the family down to Legoland in Johor for as little as US$20 (RM80).

But even if you decide to stay a while longer and it’ll still be cheaper than flying or hiring through an alternative company.

Also, you’ll never have to ride sweaty public transportation again. Hooray!

The tribulations of public transport start at the ticket office, especially if you’re attempting to converse in a foreign language.

The waiting around, being cramped and smelling other’s odors leaves a lot to be desired.

So Car eliminates those woes and provides you with your own space to play music, sing along and stop wherever you fancy.

Who can use it?

Anyone – as long as you have a license.

Foreigners can drive for up to three months on their country’s driver’s license in Malaysia.

After this, drivers will need to apply for an international driver’s permit.

You also have to be over 21 and have two years of driving on a full license under your belt.

Also, remember to get a Touch ‘n Go card for the toll roads. You can purchase these around the city and top them up at 7-Eleven and MyNews stores.

What’s next for So Car?

So Car has just celebrated signing up 45,000 members, with 300 cars in the fleet at 150 pick-up locations.

Impressive, since it only started operating in Malaysia in January.

But So Car has big plans to ensure its user’s lives are made as easy as can be.

So Car aims to grow its fleet to 100 cars over the next 12 months. This includes creating more pick-up locations and making the car drop off service more readily available across Klang Valley.

Download the app to discover great deals, comfortable driving and the possibility of discovering the hard-to-reach hidden gems of Malaysia.