Meet HiyaCar, a UK based Car Sharing Platform Enabling Users to Rent Cars from Owners
HiyaCar is a peer-to-peer car sharing platform, that helps people who own a car to earn extra money by renting it to those who want to drive.
Serving the major cities of UK, HiyaCar enables car owners to list their car on the platform along with their own desired rent. Drivers can thus browse through listed cars and select the one that suits them. Another plus point about HiyaCar is that they also provide car insurance in association with Axa. This keeps owners as well as those who rent a car assured about safety.
Some Facts About HiyaCar
Startup Vertical: Peer-to-peer Car sharing
Headquarters: Kent, Kent
Funding Received: $469.81K
Founders: Rob Larmour, Graeme Risby
Founded on: August 3, 2015
Q1. What was your personal motivation for founding a platform for peer to peer car-sharing?
I’ve always loved my cars and from the day I passed my driving test (a long time ago) I have owned nice cars and spent a lot of money doing so. Turns out that my wife also likes her cars and the both of us worked in the city for a long time, which meant we would hardly ever use our cars as they sat in the train car park depreciating away and costing us a lot of money to own. On the other hand, I have friends in London who wouldn’t own a car but would use traditional car hire companies regularly when visiting friends and family outside of London but would always moan about their experience. I’ve personally always liked the idea of using technology to connect people so it seemed obvious that there was a better solution for car owners and car hirers, that solution is HiyaCar.
Q2. Can you give us a rundown of how it works?
HiyaCar is the peer to peer car sharing community, allowing members to own their driving experience (without owning the car)!
Sharing your car couldn’t be simpler. Car owners list their car online for our community to see and reply when a member is interested in hiring their car. Car owners are in complete control and can accept or reject bookings, even setting the hire price for their car. When a hire is confirmed the owner hands over their keys and receive 80% of the hire fee when the journey is completed.
For car hirers, finding the perfect car couldn’t be easier! They simply search for the car they want, pick their location, say when then want it and request it. When confirmed by the owner, they arrange a time to meet, pick up the keys and off they go.
Q3. What is the value proposition you are offering to customers?
HiyaCar is a person to person car sharing platform for car hire between people and we aim to turn the millions of private cars sitting idle on drives and streets into a virtual fleet of cars for hire.
For car owners: Their vehicle can now make them money and connect them to local people. The average car is used for 1 hour a day so HiyaCar lets owners make money by hiring out their car when it’s not being used. For example, if a £15,000 second hand Audi A5 was hired out just 6 days a month at £80.00 a day, the owner would make an extra £4,608 a year.
For hirers: HiyaCar gives people low cost access to a good choice of cars, with the convenience of local pick up and friendly service. This can only be achieved because of a one-of-a-kind insurance policy that has been specifically created for HiyaCar by Aon/Axa.
The HiyaCar platform promotes ‘access over ownership and brings environmental and macro economic benefit as part of the wider sharing economy. This resulted in tax breaks being granted by UK tax authorities, allowing vehicle owners £1,000 of tax free income.
Q4. How did you go about getting customers on your platform? Is there a particular marketing tool or process you swear by that helped you get more customers on the platform?
For us Google Ad-words has been our biggest driver and we find that word of mouth is very powerful.
Q5. You were funded in August 2015. What are your future plans? Are you planning to integrate more features in the service?
We will continue to develop our platform and look to integrate technology which will allow for keyless car entry. We will be increasing our team numbers and will look to optimise our cost of customer acquisition before next year’s scale-up by testing our marketing channels.
Q6. What is HiyaCar’s biggest achievement to date? How did you go about accomplishing this?
When we signed our bespoke Insurance policy with Axa! This was a huge barrier to entry and with the help of AON (global insurance broker,) 12 months of hard work and lots of persistence, we managed to secure our policy with Axa. Our policy covers both car owners and car hirers and supersedes the car owner’s personal policy when hiring out their car.
Q7. Your service is present in UK as of now. Do you plan to launch services in new regions? If yes, what would be your strategy?
We will look to enter Europe but for now we are 100% focused on UK market.
Q8. Where do you see HiyaCar in the next five years?
Lots of members in the UK and overseas using our platform and creating a high number of Hiya’s. This will result in communities having the freedom to have a better life, be that physical freedom from access to local affordable transport or to financial freedom from their car sharing earnings.
Q9. Any advice for startups trying to make it big in the on-demand economy?
Be persistent, laser focused and go with your gut instincts, 9/10 they are right!
There is no silver bullet or magic answer to help you get from A to B quicker than anybody else. Keep on running tests, learn from data, adopt changes, test again, learn from data and so on.
My other piece of advice is only start up your own business if you are genuinely passionate about your company subject and only if you would personally use your service / product to improve your own life. This passion will help you carry on when the chips are down as it’s extremely hard work, if it was easy everybody would be doing it!