Sharath S. Srivatsa
Passengers just have to pick them up and drop them off anywhere in the city
Cars will be provided with full fuel tank; they have to be returned with full fuel tank, too
Customer has to be over 21 years of age and possess a valid Indian driving licence
BANGALORE: Passengers alighting at the international airport at Devanahalli can opt for self-drive cars instead of chauffer-driven ones which are now available at the HAL Airport. With this, the international airport will also become the first airport in India to introduce the concept of self-drive cars that are already popular in the West.
Initially, over 30 cars on self-drive basis will be introduced when the airport commences its operations on March 30, and a range of self-drive cars in the compact category (Suzuki Swift), the intermediate range (Ford Fiesta), the standard category (Toyota Corolla), multi-utility vehicles (Toyota Innova) and sports utility vehicles (Ford Endeavour) would be made available to the passengers.
According to Chief Executive Officer BIAL Albert Brunner passengers will be given these cars with a full fuel tank and the car has to be returned with full fuel tank. A flexible pick up and drop off facility in town and at the airport will be offered. Facilities will be provided for the passenger to pick up the car at the airport and drop it off anywhere in the city or even in Hyderabad or Chennai.
Similarly, passengers can also pick up the car at any of these cities and drop it off at the airport. The conditions are that customer has to be over 21 years of age and possess a valid Indian licence. “The Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL) does see a demand for self-drive cars at the airport,” he said.
The Deputy General Manager (South) Hertz H.R. Venkataraman told The Hindu that though awareness about the self -drive cars was low, they would be marketing the concept aggressively at the international airport. Hertz will provide the cars for BIAL. “Passengers seeking a self-drive car has to deposit money based on the category, apart from paying accident deposit, which is refundable. Besides, we seek payments through credit cards only,” he added.
He said that the concept has been very popular in the West since chauffer-driven cars are expensive. “However, we see the pattern changing in the near future when people will seek cars for self-drive,” he added. The daily charges for the compact category car would be Rs. 1,300; intermediate range: Rs. 1,600; standard category Rs. 3,500; multi-utility vehicles: Rs. 3,100; and sports utility vehicles would cost Rs. 5,500. The charges are exclusive of Value Added Tax.