Orix Auto charges $4 to rent a car for 30 min. The car-sharing company has more than 12,000 parking places, so cars are readily available. Orix learned that a large number of its 230,000 users rent cars and don't drive them anywhere. So they looked into it and discovered that people were using them to take naps, eat lunch, do work, change clothes, recharge cell phones, and store things (when storage lockers at train stations weren't available).
"I rented a car to eat a boxed meal that I bought at a convenience store because I couldn't find anywhere else to have lunch,"said a 31-year-old male company employee who lives in Saitama Prefecture, close to Tokyo.
"Usually the only place I can take a nap while visiting my clients is a cybercafe in front of the station, but renting a car to sleep in is just a few hundred yen (several dollars), almost the same as staying in the cybercafe."
Easy accessibility is a big advantage of car-sharing services. Customers can reserve vehicles any time 24 hours a day on their smartphones for immediate use.
Image: Orix Auto Corp.