Hello everyone – welcome back to another of my reviews. In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing my experience using GetGo’s carsharing service.
I’ve always been a fan of automobiles, and was an avid fan of the Jeremy Clarkson era of Top Gear shows. I got my license a few years ago, but have never really gotten around to driving due to the high costs of car ownership here in Singapore. So when GetGo got in touch and asked if I would be interested in trying their carsharing service, I was intrigued and immediately took them up on their offer.
GetGo – Video Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of my GetGo experience, do check out the Youtube review below:
GetGo – the Brand
Despite launching just earlier this year, GetGo is currently the largest carsharing service in Singapore, with more than 950 vehicles stationed at over 900 locations islandwide. According to the brand, they pride themselves in “providing a simple, flexible, and accessible carsharing service” – unlike other similar services, GetGo doesn’t require an upfront deposit, or a monthly membership fee. Instead, all users have to do is download the GetGo app, sign up using MyInfo (which verifies that you have a valid driving license), and you’re good to go.
Rates comprise of an hourly charge (which range from $3-$12), as well as a mileage charge. For those wondering, GetGo has a variety of cars in its fleet, the most popular of which includes the Toyota Sienta MPV, the Mazda 3 sedan, the Ssangyong Tivoli SUV, the Honda Shuttle, and even electric vehicles such as the Hyundai Ioniq and Kona. The vast majority of its fleet falls in the “standard” category, which means you’re looking at an hourly charge of $3-9, and a mileage charge of $0.35 per km.
Making a booking is a breeze on the app. You use the app to unlock the car and request for live support too, and in my experience I never had any major functionality issues making a booking or unlocking the car, though it can get laggy at times.
GetGo Experience – Toyota Sienta
My first drive with GetGo was with the Toyota Sienta, a 7 seater Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) with sliding doors.
Finding the car was easy. Not only does the GetGo app specifically state the carpark and lot number that it’s in, but the lots are also demarcated in green, thus clearly differentiating them from the other cars.
In any case, all of GetGo’s cars feature prominently branded decals on the sides, so there’s no chance you’ll mistake another car for the one you’ve booked. For the car that I book, I found the exterior of the car to be pretty clean – definitely passable.
There are some scratches near the back wheels, but slight cosmetic defects are to be expected for carsharing cars. There are no safety lapses (e.g flat tire, loose mirrors, etc) that I could spot, so I promptly got into the car in preparation for my drive.
I found the interior of the car to be pretty clean, and showed it in detail in my video review. However, something that I didn’t show in my Youtube video was the Esso fuel card, which is included in every vehicle should you need to refuel. As such, you don’t have to worry about paying out of your own pocket to refuel the car. In fact, GetGo even rewards users with a $6 promo code for taking the time out to refuel the vehicle – from less than 1/4 tank to full tank – at any Esso gas station.
There’s also a dashboard camera in every vehicle. Given past cases of reckless driving, the dashboard camera serves as an accountability measure. However, it actually protects drivers as well, should you get into an accident on the road that isn’t your fault (say, the car in front of you mistakenly reversed into your car while attempting to park).
I must admit I ran into a slight hitch initially. While driving it out of the carpark, a warning light went off, along with a message in Japanese. Unfortunately, I’m not proficient in Japanese so I had no idea what was causing the warning light. I ended up driving it back to the carpark, parked, and requested support from GetGo’s live support. I’m pleased to report that the live support system was speedy, and I didn’t have to wait or be placed in a virtual queue. I was informed by the GetGo team that the warning light meant I didn’t release the footbrake of the Toyota Sienta. As I was used to driving cars with handbrakes, releasing the footbrake slipped my mind – to be honest, I didn’t even know the Sienta had a footbrake. If you’re reading this and planning on renting a Toyota Sienta, remember to release the footbrake!
The car also doesn’t boast much in terms of infotainment systems, though features such as the air conditioning and radio worked. However, the lack of a navigation system was a hindrance, and I had to rely on using my phone’s Google Maps for directions. Unfortunately, the car didn’t have a phone holder, which meant I had to balance my phone precariously on the dashboard.
Overall, my drive with the Sienta (after releasing the footbrake) went without a hitch. Being an MPV, I can see the Sienta as a good choice for parents sending their kids to school in the morning, or for large families going on a weekend getaway. It’s not the most thrilling driving experience, but that’s not the point of the Sienta anyway.
GetGo Experience – Mazda 3
If you prefer something with more oomph, then book the Mazda 3.
The Mazda 3 in my area happened to be located in the upper levels of a multi-storey carpark. Once again, the lot is marked in green, and there’s even a sign beside it that states the lot is reserved for GetGo vehicles. Like the Toyota Sienta, the Mazda 3 features obvious GetGo decal on the sides so you can spot it a mile away.
I was pretty impressed by the condition of the Mazda 3 – the exterior looked like new, with nary a scratch or a nick to be seen.
Likewise, the interior of the Mazda 3 was mostly clean, and definitely comes across as much sleeker than that of the Toyota Sienta. It also uses a conventional handbrake – no footbrake here. However, there’s still no navigation system or reverse camera (for easier parking) on board, nor a phone mount.
All in all, I definitely preferred the driving experience of the Mazda 3 over the Toyota Sienta. The Sienta drove fine, but it’s a soulless workhorse. In contrast, the Mazda 3 is definitely more powerful, with more precise handling and even a sports suspension mode available. Driving the Mazda 3 on an empty highway was, for the lack of a better word, shiok.
Conclusion – so GetGo “shiok” or not?
Car ownership is expensive, yet sometimes we all yearn for the freedom of having our own vehicle. Perhaps it’s for a 2am drive to Springleaf for some supper prata, or for a heavy grocery/shopping run where you just want to put everything on the backseat. In such instances, carsharing becomes immensely appealing. In other instances, it might be more convenient to simply Grab. I once drove Getgo’s car to the CBD area, and instantly regretted it. Not only was traffic a nightmare, but parking was also costly and hard to find as well. However, I do appreciate having the option of driving, and I often found myself weighing my choices when going out. Sometimes I take public transport, sometimes I book a Grab, and other times I use GetGo’s carsharing service. And when I decide to drive a GetGo car, the experience was almost always pleasant. The cars were all generally well-maintained and clean, though that’s also dependent on whether the previous users were considerate. GetGo’s live support responds promptly (even at 5am – I tried once during a supper run), and I could even make an advance booking for my desired car. My only knock is the lack of a phone mount in the cars, which I would recommend GetGo to consider implementing – it only costs $10 a piece, but would really improve the driving experience.
For those interested in signing up for GetGo’s carsharing service, you can use the promo code “WSS8OFF” to enjoy 50% off your first drive, capped at $8. The promo code will be valid till the end of March, and is only applicable for the first booking. With more than a dozen different cars in its fleet currently (16, to be precise), I can’t wait to see which models the brand will introduce next – continental cars for an added dose of luxury, perhaps?
Download the GetGo app here.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.