Car rental platform Udrive expands to Saudi Arabia
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Car rental platform Udrive expands to Saudi Arabia

Car rental platform Udrive expands to Saudi Arabia

Licensed by the Transport General Authority, Udrive also plans to roll out fleets in Jeddah and other cities in 2023, boosting its fleet to 1,500 cars in a year

Gulf Business
Udrive launches in KSA

UAE homegrown brand Udrive, the dedicated pay-per-minute, and daily car rental platform, has announced its expansion into Saudi Arabia. The new operations will meet the increasing demand from residents, tourists, students, and startups in the kingdom.

Udrive’s shared mobility model supports Saudi’s Vision 2030 for greener mobility. Nine out of 10 people (92 per cent) in Saudi Arabia currently use a privately owned vehicle to go to work or school, leading to reduced air quality, significant traffic congestion, and decreased urban livability.

Udrive will first launch in the Saudi capital city of Riyadh, the 40th largest city economy worldwide at present and gearing to become the 10th by 2030.

With the city’s population forecast to nearly double this decade, from 7.2 million to 15 million by 2030, Riyadh has been identified as a strong market for short- and long-term car leasing and rentals. The average percentage ratio of ‘car-sharing’ vehicles to passenger cars in Riyadh is 0.02 per cent compared to a global average of 0.5% in major cities, presenting a significant opportunity.

Udrive users can drive for as little as SAR0.60 per minute or SAR130 per day (up to 200 km), which includes free petrol, comprehensive insurance, and most parking fees paid – eliminating the stresses that come with car ownership and making the case for users. Car sharing enables users to save 25 to 50 per cent on commuting costs, depending on the vehicle they drive.

Licensed by the Transport General Authority (TGA), Udrive also plans to roll out fleets in Jeddah and other KSA cities in 2023, boosting its fleet to 1,500 cars in a year.

Nicholas Watson, co-founder and CEO of Udrive said: “We are delighted to expand our footprint to serve the thriving Saudi market. The sustainability pillar of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 strategy presents a compelling case for us to expand into the region. At Udrive, we are committed to providing commuters with the best driving experience at the most affordable prices. We believe our car sharing model will reduce commuting costs for residents, tourists, students, and startups while supporting the nation’s long-term development goals by reducing vehicle emissions and decreasing pressure on infrastructure.”

 In Dubai, the hotspots for Udrive car-sharing are Dubai Marina, Deira, Barsha Heights, JBR, DIFC and Dubai Silicon Oasis. There is a steady stream of millennial expatriates in the UAE that use the service to commute to and from work during the week and longer distance multi-stop trips over the weekend with demand continuously rising. In the last 2 years, models such as KIA and Hyundai and MG Motor have gained popularity.

He added: “As more businesses open offices in Saudi Arabia, we see an increasing appetite for car rental services in the kingdom. There is also a growing passenger car market among a population where more than half are under 25, that is moving from ownership to usership. This makes the country the ideal launchpad for our first operations outside our UAE home base. We have tripled our fleet since the pandemic lockdowns and are geared for triple-digit-percentage growth and accelerated profitability in the region over the next 12 months.”

 The global car sharing market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 25 per cent through 2022 and grow at 34.8 per cent year-over-year between now and 2024, when it will total $16.5bn.

Udrive pioneered the 24/7 digital car rental concept in the GCC via a mobile app-only approach.

In February, Udrive announced it had completed another funding round, attracting strategic investments of $5m.

Read: Dubai Cultiv8 and Oman Holding International invest $5m in Udrive

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