UAE start-up Udrive, a car rental service platform, is expanding in Saudi Arabia to meet growing demand for affordable transport.
In a statement on Monday, the company said it would first launch its app-based minute and daily car rental services in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s most populous city. By 2023, it will deploy cars in other cities, including Jeddah, growing its fleet to 1,500 vehicles in one year.
Udrive said Riyadh, where the population is expected to nearly double to 15 million people by 2030, is a strong market for short- and long-term car rentals and rentals. Nine out of ten people (92%) in the Saudi capital currently use a private vehicle to get to work or school.
“The traditional car rental market in Saudi Arabia, the most populous country and largest economy in the GCC, is valued at approximately $1 billion and is expected to reach $1.18 billion by 2026,” said said Udrive.
Udrive’s business model allows users to drive cars for as little as 0.60 SAR ($0.16) per minute or 130 SAR per day for up to 200 kilometers. The rate includes gas, comprehensive insurance and “most” parking fees.
“As more companies open offices in Saudi Arabia, we are seeing a growing appetite for car rental services in Saudi Arabia. There is also a growing passenger car market among a population whose more half are under the age of 25, moving from ownership to use,” said Nicholas Watson, co-founder and CEO of Udrive.
(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; Editing by Brinda Darasha)