ZoomCar Review – Car Rental in Bangalore, India

How many people does it take to start a ZoomCar? In our recent experience — no less than 7! Yes, no joking, look at the photograph. Our ZoomCar experience was a disaster and may this review serve as a warning to those who hope to zoom with a ZoomCar.

What is ZoomCar?

ZoomCar has the tagline self-drive for the self-driven. Whatever. It’s a basic self-drive car rental service, similar to Hertz or Avis or Budget internationally. What makes it unique? Crappy cars and a first-mover advantage in India. Yes, I am a very disgruntled user so expect a scathing review. 

Basically, some foreign guys came to India in 2012 to study and were shocked to realise that there weren’t any self-drive cars available in India, and for a good reason so. (Indian roads and drivers = bruised and bashed cars; enough taxi drivers seeking employment; enough people willing to run away with cars and sell parts.)

And so said foreign guys started ZoomCar in Bangalore and raised a whole bunch of money from (idiotic) investors ($20 million). And now 3 years later, we have an average company with crappy cars and average service.

Who are the competitors of ZoomCar?

On the international market, ZoomCar wouldn’t survive with their crappy cars. However, in India, they don’t have too many competitors. Mainly, Myles and Carzonrent.com. Haven’t used either, so can’t comment.

Our Experience with ZoomCar Bangalore


Mr T & I decided to go for a weekend trip to Kabini – approximately 250 kms away. We didn’t want to take our own car for whatever reasons, and so Mr T decided to book a ZoomCar (as the type of person who likes to encourage all things start-upy). We booked a Figo since there were only two of us travelling and the roads were apparently not too bad to warrant a bigger car.

The car was delivered at the correct time. It was early morning and dark outside so we couldn’t really inspect it. We immediately realised that the car key automatic locking wasn’t working. Other than that we asked him to verify that the car was in good condition, and of course he reassured us that it was. 

When we took the car on the road, we immediately realised that it was a hunk of crap. Aside from scratches and dents all over the car, the suspension was terrible and every single speed bump and pothole caused our bodies to shudder. The car had done 77,000 kms, and you could tell that it wanted to retire peacefully. But nope, ZoomCar continued to work it to death. 

Not only that, the car wasn’t even clean: dusty, lots of mosquitoes — pretty much like a crappy taxi cabs. Both Mr T & I have rented self-drive cars abroad and this was an embarrassment in comparison.

We called up ZoomCar customer support  to let them know, and they said oh, we understand, sorry, can you show it to a service center on your way? Take the bill and we will refund you? We were obviously like wtf? We have a destination to reach, and do not want to waste our time doing what you guys should have already done. The car still moved, so we said whatever, let’s just continue.

zoom car rental bangalore

And then two days later was when disaster struck. We hadn’t used the car for a day, so it was sitting idle in the parking lot in the middle of nowhere (next to Nagarhole National Park). And when we tried to start the car, all the lights on the dashboard lit up, and the car stubbornly refused to start. Was it an engine problem? Oil problem? Water problem? Battery problem? Who the f*** knows? The Zoom Car sticker in the car told us that it could be any of the above. 

I desperately tried to call ZoomCar customer support number, but it wasn’t connecting. (Not a problem with network as I tried with 3 different cell phones). The Zoom website doesn’t mention any other way to contact them in case of emergency which is utter nonsense. I had to log on to the website, try to unsuccessfully retrieve my password, send them an email before I managed to get in touch with them. 

On the positive, when I sent them an email stating our emergency they were quick to respond. The person on the other side was consoling, as though he knew what a shit product they had. 

By this time, the resort staff had come to help us and immediately recognised the problem as a dead battery. They happily pushed the car and got it going again.

In the meantime, the customer representative guy told us that we shouldn’t use the AC for 45 minutes while the battery recharged. And we should stop by at a service station to show the car. Of course.

I’m just overawed by what a crappy service ZoomCar provides. A dead battery is not an unexpected situation. It’s not something that happens out of the blue. It’s something that should have been checked before the keys were handed over to the customer. This breakdown could have happened in the middle of the night in a deserted highway. Would ZoomCar be responsible if something happened to us? I think not.

ZoomCar Reaction to Our Complaints

zoomcar breakdown

Silence. Absolute silence. When we complained the first time regarding the suspension, they said sorry, we will raise a ticket. When we complained about the breakdown, they said sorry, we will address the matter.

Have we heard a word from them? No. 

What the fuel?

We got a ZoomCar package that included 640 kms free in the cost. But what was bloody weird is that the tank was only 60% full. Which meant that we had to fill the tank ourselves… and then go through this long circuitous path to get a refund of our fuel costs. When we were first charged, we were not refunded the fuel costs. We had to raise another ticket to get this refund going. We still haven’t gotten it btw. 

Zoom Car Rental Customer Service Number

For those of you who want to get in touch with ZoomCar, here are their contact details

Zoom Cars Bangalore contact number: 080-60009666

ZoomCar email address: help@zoomcar.com

Would I recommend Zoom Cars Bangalore?

Hell, no. I’d only recommend it to college kids who don’t have any other way of going around.

ZoomCar Promo Code

If you do still want to try out ZoomCar, you can use this coupon code to receive 20% off of your first ride

ZoomCar coupon code: ODY4MTQ4

User Reviews and Comments

  1. Snehal A Pawar says

    I booked a car well in advance for an outing as I had some guests from outside town. A big THANK YOU TO ZOOMCAR FOR RUINING OUR DAY. I booked the car for pick up at 10am and when I reached the location to pick up the car, I was told the car was unavailable. I waited till 12pm(all the while talking to the customer service representative to arrive at a solution but in vain). Even after all this I was asked to wait for another 3 HOURS to get another car.
    I can’t forget the wonderful experience I received from the CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE, who hung the call on my face instead of giving me a solution.

  2. SR says

    I needed a particular kind of luxury car for a corporate event. Had detailed conversations with their customer care prior to booking. I then booked it for two days + paid in advance for two days on the basis of our conversation and written communication from them that specifications would be met. When the car was delivered, it was not as per specifications. I wanted to return it immediately but the customer care nightmare had begun.

    First, I spent 30 mins + speaking / arguing with their pickup center representative who had no idea regarding my conversation with their backend team. Then I wrote to their Facebook team, with whom I had had the original conversation – they went into denial mode repeating the same thing while refusing to take responsibility for what they themselves had promised in their original messages. Then we had a customer care representative call us multiple times during the course of the day, while my business event was going on. I cancelled the second day’s booking immediately and bore the 200 rupee cancellation fee. However, they refused to refund the amount or accept a cancellation for the first day in spite of my showing them written communication from their team regarding specifications for the car, on the basis of which I had booked. Most frustrating of all was having to go from pillar to post having the same conversations with different teams, none of whom seemed coordinated. This was a luxury car, so I was 6,500 Rs. down, purely on account of their dishonest representations and misinformation. We finally managed to convince them to refund half the booking amount after spending almost 3-4 hours on conversations with different people. Just booked an Ola rental the next day. Will never be booking with Zoomcar again.

  3. Vishal says

    Recently I had hire zoomcar for just to drive 50-60km. First of all I had to fight very much to get approve my DL since they were rejecting saying duplicate licence to my original one. They have really worst car demage policy, even if you make a single tiny scratch they will charge you huge, Even if you do hard demage, You are going to regret in your life, that kind of charge they will put in. Though they will be claiming from the insurance. Basically you will lost your deposite as well, Either they will give you 10-15 back by applying many fake charges, something like cleaning, repair etc.etc. So never ever hire zoomcar. Not at all worth.

  4. Vivek Kanaujia says

    If you need car, DON’T USE ZOOMCAR
    I am usually a reasonable reviewer of facilities and services I avail and do not criticize until there is something genuinely wrong done. But with my Zoom car (Bangalore) experience, I can tell it was my worst and pathetic service experience as a customer. I have terminated my association with them and would advise people reading this to not use their services, if you don’t want to ruin your plans.

    I booked a Scorpio (ID: JPS62R449) for home delivery in 20 days advance to my trip, for home delivery option. Booking was done and payment was completed. Next day I receive the email with address of location where I need to go an pick my car. I got shocked by the email and called their customer care. They had no reason to give me for this error. Finally when I did not get a car for home delivery, I had to cancel my booking.
    Being foolish I again booked Creta after 2 days (ID:JPS62R914) with home delivery option. Payment was made and this time email said home delivery was opted for 17th Feb 5 am. after 15 days, on the day of my trip, I did not get any message regarding car details. It was morning 4:50 AM and I did not get any message or call or any communication from Zoom. Finally I called and asked and I was told to wait for 10-15 mins. I get a call at 5AM(after I called) that Creta is not available and I have to take KUV100. I was furious to hear that when I booked an SUV and my family is waiting with all luggage, I was offered a small car to adjust. When I did not accept this foolish offer, I was told to go to another place(10 kms at 5AM) to collect another car but not SUV. This made me felt really irritated and my trip and such costly booking was all ruined. Their customer care was absolutely of no use and help and they simply denied giving me any reasonable solution by saying’SORRY’.

    Any other customer caring service provider would have done best possible to help customer at such odd timing by providing an upgrade since it was their fault but they didn’t care about that.

    So my advise to all readers is not to expect any service or help from Zoom. It will be your best luck if you get any good experience with them. So beware and make your plans by not depending on them.

  5. Rishi says

    I hired zoomcar for 13 days, 3000 Km in Ahmedabad (booking JPS62CJSU) and had a very bad experince with their staff, call centre and car and now they are not refunding the fuel money to me. Please read through the points and not book zoomcar

    1. They take all the money in advance, so I paid everything.

    2. At Car Pickup (Ahmedabad, Formula-1 Basement), the staff was very rude, never showed any papers or car condition and asked me to take the car (which was not even washed), the spare tyre was punctured (and one more tyre was punctured, which I found out afterwords) and I was not even told.

    3. I refused to take the car and called the call centre, to which they took sometime (dont know for what) but after 15 minutes they said that there is no other car and the booking cannot be cancelled (no refund, remember they had taken the full amount) (they said they will get the spare tyre punctured repaired, which they did), since I had a long 13 day tour planned and no other option I took the car

    4. The cars tyres were in really bad shape and I had 5 punctures in 13 days !! Every second day I had to get it repaired. The fog light was broken, there were loads of scratches on it. The car was not mentained at all.

    5. Anyway, when I got back and told them about this, the staff got angry and for spite he said ‘he will claim damages’. So for some imaginary thing I am being claimed Rs.2000 in ‘car damage’.

    6. I refuled the car four times (Rs.2000 each) and submitted all the original cash recipts from the petrol pump (which is Rs.8000). From this they have re-imbursed only Rs.6000

    7. So they have cut Rs.4000 and now when I called them (call centre), they are saying that they will not give me the Rs.4000 back.

    I am not sure what has happened to ZoomCar. I have booked it before and (a few years back, when they started) it looked like a professional company back then, but now it was a very bad experience (at least the Ahmedabad Zoom car). If you are still reading this, please avoid Zoomcar and save yourself to deal with these un-professional people, who when questioned resort to cheating.

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