Students have always needed to use cars, but they face a realistic problem: lack of money to buy or rent a car.
Sometimes they fail to rent a car just by a small amount of money. To solve these kinds of problems, modified versions that car-renting services have been emerging. Socar lends cars with affordable prices under the condition of students are willing to share the car with others. Socar is special not only in that the riders share the car with others, but also in that it has parking space in lots of various spots near household neighborhoods. Furthermore, it allows people to rent cars by 10 minutes with the minimum renting period of 30 minutes. Also, the oil price is exactly proportional to mileage.
Socar not only satisfies its customers but also has economic, environmental and social benefits.
“In Jeju Island each household has at least two cars because of inconvenient public transportation,” said Lee Kyung, a marketing communication manager at Socar. “During off-seasons, rented cars are just standing in the parking lot which we thought a waste in a social sense. This was part of the reason why we started this service.”
The service is economically beneficial because students can use the service whenever they want to and remain free from tax and utility fees. It is environmentally friendly because one shared car reduces an average of 12.5 cars on the road which in turn lessens carbon emissions. Finally, it is socially helpful not only because it solves difficulties in parking, but also provides various benefits to those who have economic burden.
Socar was recognized for its efforts and effects, and was officially selected as an official car-sharing service company by Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2013. It has been putting further efforts by providing low emission vehicles such as small compact cars and hybrid cars. As its effects are being recognized, an increasing number of university students use the service due to their need and convenience the service provides.
“People in their twenties and thirties are the main users and a lot of universities enjoy the service,” Lee said.
“Especially when there are Socar zones near univerisites, there are a lot more student users,” Lee said. “They rent in between class hours or when couples go out for a date. There are many students who go home late, but feel burdened to pay late taxi fees. In this case, they can use Socar night services instead.”
The night service hour is between 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. of the next morning and the price ranges from 9,900 won to 13,050 won per 12 hours.
Students welcome the news about such services.
“Socar is an eco-friendly service,” Park Seo-yeon (Social Science Education, 1) said. “It will reduce the number of cars on the road, helping to mitigate air pollution. Also, the service seems to be offered at a reasonable price. People will be able to reduce spending on transportation. They can choose from a variety of cars depending on their daily needs and interests.”