Car owners using Zuru Car Rental begin by uploading the images and descriptions of their vehicles on the app. Users can then book and pay for those rentals using the app’s secure MPesa escrow service.
Rawlings Otini, the company CEO, revealed the company is trying to create transparency in the industry by using a similar Airbnb-like model with enhanced security features and insurance cover.
“Currently, there is a lack of order and credibility in the industry. There are con-men posting cars online and asking customers for deposits, after which they switch off their phones. We want to end that,” he said.
The company began as a car hire agency linking vehicle owners to clients. Their decision to automate was prompted by their desire to offer their service to remote areas. The app has thus far listed a number of car hire companies across the capital Nairobi, and Mombasa. They expect to launch in Kisumu soon.
The new innovative aims to reduce the number of idle cars (which happens to be 95%). The system has an in-built rating system that rates users with stars rewarding the best owners and customers.
At the moment, payment is via M-Pesa, Kenya’s leading mobile money transfer medium. However, there are plans to include other forms of payment.
Individual car owners can list their vehicles at no charge.
The app employs big data analytics from the devices to secure cars while reducing instances of theft. It also employs Google tracking.
10 percent of every transaction is deducted by the platform and the rest goes to the driver. This amount includes transaction fees. The company currently works with an insurer to provide pay-per-use insurance.