Published on December 25th, 2020 | by Joshua Chin0
Trevo: The Car Sharing Platform For Enthusiasts?
How does Trevo stack up against its local car sharing opposition?
A couple of months ago (before this whole CMCO thing arose again), a few friends and I decided to take a trip up to Bentong just because. There was one slight problem with this impromptu trip up north though, and that is that for one reason or another, none of us our cars were available, or willing, to make the trip up.
Therefore in the interest of experimentation, and so that we can actually make the trip, we decided to rent a car for the journey instead. When thinking of rental cars these days, SoCar and GoCar will probably be in the forefront of many Malaysian minds. Both too seemed like suitable options at the time. Then again, with all of us being car enthusiasts, we decided that we wanted something saucier for the drive up.
So after some consideration, we decided to give Trevo a try instead.
What is Trevo?
Well for all intents and purposes, Trevo is just another one of these car sharing platform like the aforementioned SoCar and GoCar. Instead of one company leasing the cars to you though, it works as a sort of Airbnb for cars, in which owners rent out their personal cars to customers through the app.
While Trevo still has a myriad of mundane options like the Peroduas and the Hyundais, a few sportier and classier choices are also available from the app. You won’t be finding a BMW 640i or a Porsche Cayman on SoCar anytime soon that’s for sure.
Come to think of it, a quick check on SoCar reveals that they don’t even offer much premium selection anymore, if at all. The once oft-publicised BMW 3 series from SoCar looks to have been dropped from their fleet, and the only MINI variants available from their service is the base model MINIs, which of course come with a premium rental fee.
Why We Chose Trevo For The Trip
Going back to Trevo, it was actually also possible nab yourself a pretty good rental for not a lot of money.
Case in point is that within the RM 200 price range that we were comfortable to spend on a car for the day, there was already a plethora of options for us to choose from. A quick search on the app for the date and time we were going yielded us with a Mazda3, a Honda CR-Z, a 5-door MINI and a 2013 Lexus IS250. All of which were actually solid choices for a fun day out in the country.
Having said that, only one of them had a V6 up front and drive going to the rear, an irresistible combination for the enthusiastic petrolhead. So it therefore comes as no surprise then that we eventually bit the bullet and booked the Lexus.
The Booking Process
Speaking of the booking process, the whole affair was as not much harder than ordering a delivery meal through GrabFood. Signing up for the app may be a bit of a hassle, but then again that is par for the course for all car sharing apps.
Once logged in though, the booking process follows down a similar path to its other established car sharing rivals. All I has to do is key in the desired date and time of the rental, find the car we wanted that is available during the desired period, then press ‘Request Booking’ at the bottom of the screen.
After the payment has been made through my credit card, the booking is then processed and a short while later, I got a WhatsApp text from the owner of the Lexus wanting to confirm a few items before accepting the request on their end. A few exchanges of pleasantries later and voila, I had managed to secure the Lexus for the day.
In total, the entire booking process took less than 20 minutes, from looking for a car to having booked the car. An impressive feat considering that this was done in the later hours of the night, a few hours before we were due to depart. It was quick and painless to say the least.
Trevo Booking Need-To-Knows
That said, there are a few points worth noting about the booking process for Trevo in particular, especially for anyone interested in trying out this new car-sharing platform. The main thing to keep in mind here is that the rentals run on Trevo on a daily (12 hours) basis.
This essentially means that renting a car through Trevo for two hours is costs the same as renting a car for the day. A key point to remember when considering that the other car share services are on an hourly basis.
Another thing to note is that during the booking process, there were also a few options that can be chosen. One of which is Trevo Shield, Trevo’s premium insurance policy that basically reduces the renter’s liability if things were to go wrong during one’s rental. That said, it was only available on certain cars, with the Lexus not being one of them.
There was also a car delivery option, which means that the rental car be delivered to your doorstep for an extra fee. A useful feature to some perhaps, but seeing as it didn’t fit our schedule on the day, we didn’t go for that option either so no comment there.
Getting The Lexus
Anyhow, on the morning of departure, we made our way to the arranged meeting point as discussed with the owner yesterday night to pick up the car. Arriving at the agreed time, the car was already there waiting for us. As for the handover process itself, while I would like to say that it was as easy as taking the keys and driving off, there were a few extra steps to this process.
During the handover process, much like what is done using the other car sharing apps, Trevo obliges the renter to open the app and snap a few pictures to document the initial condition of the car. A picture of the odometer was also necessary to document the milage before the rental.
It is worth noting then at this point that the daily milage for a Trevo rental is capped at 200 km per day, with a fee of 50 cents per extra km covered. Saying that, the milage calculation is most likely taken as the difference between the start and end of the rental duration. So nothing to really worry about if you’re taking a multi-day vacation to somewhere far away, as the longer the time with the car, the more milage allowance you’ll get.
Speaking of the renter, the fact that the owner renting the car to us was there during the handover was also a neat feature of this particular car sharing platform. This is because it meant that the owner was able to run us through what is already wrong with the car.
Given that it is a seven year old Lexus, the old girl did have its share of wear and tear, to which the owner handily pointed out. It was mainly minor things like water misting in one of the headlights and a traction control light on the dash that the owner can’t get rid of. There was also some light cosmetic damage to the front right caused by a previous rental. Apart from those minor faults and foibles though, the rest of the car felt as solid as the day it left the factory. More importantly too, it drove probably as well as the day it left the factory too.
The Driving Bit Of The Rental
After the courtesy handover inspection, the owner simply handed over the keys to the car and we were then left with a Lexus on our hands for the rest of the day. As this is not a travel site, I’m not going to bore you with recounts of the day trip up north. A full review on the Lexus though could be found here, for those that are interested.
Nevertheless, it is suffice to say that the comfortable Japanese saloon wafted the 137 km round trip without missing a beat. And when the roads did get twisty, the 2.5 litre V6, along with the rear wheel drive chassis, provided enough enjoyment to entertain three impressionable enthusiasts during the trip.
Ancillary Rental Expenditure
While on the subject of the creamy V6, it is worth pointing out that fuel is actually not included in the cost of the rental. Something to keep in mind when weighing up the economic pros and cons about doing what we did.
In the rental agreement, Trevo also actually states that the rental should be returned with the amount of fuel originally in the tank, which worked out for us to be around RM 85 on top of the price of the rental. While it might seem to be a bit on the steep side, the high fuel price was probably more to do with us wanting to keep hearing the irresistible burble of the V6 up front. To the more sensible driver, the cost of petrol will most likely be substantially lower. Especially if renting a car with a fewer amount of cylinders, and having drivers with a less enthusiastic right foot.
Just to touch on the price structure in a bit more detail here, the daily rental rate of the Lexus IS250 was RM 280 per day. Thanks to a 50% off sign-up bonus on the app though, that dropped the rental fee by half, to a more reasonable RM140 per day. Would it be worth the full price of the rental? To some perhaps, to others not so.
After having been behind the wheel for a full day though, even paying the full rental rate will perhaps be worth it. Not only because driving a Lexus for three teenagers is an experience in itself, but more so because renting a comparable car for the same duration from the competition will also be equally as pricey.
Besides, even without the discount, there are still other fun cars to choose from within our insignificant budget. And it is not like the competition had anything interesting to offer in the first place anyway.
Returning The Lexus
When it came to returning the car, this is where Trevo’s USP of dealing directly with the owner came in really handy. This was because we were actually running a little late to return the car on the pre-determined 7pm return time that I set, all thanks to heavy KL traffic. Fortunately, a quick text to the very understanding owner saying that we’re currently stuck in heavy traffic sorted out the problem.
With regards to the actual return process itself, it is essentially the reverse as the handover process. Take a few pictures and upload it in the app and then return the keys to the owner. It was just as easy as that.
Seeing that we’re stuck to cuti-cuti Malaysia for the foreseeable future, perhaps give Trevo a look for your next road trip car. While it is true that our priority for this trip was to have some automotive fun with a cool car, thinking practically for a moment however, there are also host of other practical cars on offer on Trevo that may be more suitable for other (more sensible) road tripping adventures too.
A Hyundai Grand Starex for instance will be the perfect car for a family holiday. Thanks to its 11 seats that can easily fit all the family and then some. To those looking forward to a bit more luxury, how about a Toyota Alphard or a Range Rover Sport for the weekend?
What more, with Trevo car owners out there looking to make a quick buck out of their cars can also looking into renting their cars out on the app. Rather than having the car sit around not doing anything, perhaps let the car make some money for you to go on your own holiday instead.