south koreans look for alternatives to buying cars
Last Updated : GMT 06:41:18
Arab Today, arab today
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South Koreans look for alternatives to buying cars

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today South Koreans look for alternatives to buying cars

Seoul - Arabstoday

Rocketing gasoline prices are hurting drivers all over the world including South Korea - where prices are setting new record highs almost on a daily basis. It has driven many Koreans to look for alternatives to owning a car. Car-sharing is a new trend that has hit parts of South Korea. Reservations are made online, and customers set the place and time where they want to pick up and leave the car. For about US$15, one can use the car for three hours filled with gas to travel about 24 kilometres. Na Hee Sook, a car-sharing customer, said: "This is more convenient than owning my own car. Parking costs are expensive and I will have to pay for gas too." One car-sharing company that set up its business six months ago already has about 40,000 customers. Cars are usually rented for a short period. But these days, instead of buying a new car, many Koreans are turning to long-term rental. Kim Jong Sun decided to sell his car because of soaring gasoline prices. Now, he rents a vehicle which runs on Liquefied Petroleum Gas. "I used to spend about 70,000 won every month on gas since I use the car to commute to work and for business. But now I can save about 25 percent every month," he said. Kim Yong Sung, who runs his own business, has rented a car for one year. He said renting means he can drive a new car every year. "It's good that I can change cars. If I had bought one I would have to ride the same car for two to three years. I want the new car designs that are changing so rapidly," he said. Renting means drivers don't need to worry about other costs like insurance, taxes and tune-ups. LPG prices are also cheaper than gasoline. Latest figures show that a total of 290,000 cars were rented out in 2011 compared to 110,000 in 2005. And the figures are expected to grow as Koreans look for alternatives to buying cars.  

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