Democratising access to mobility
We created Planet42 to enable more people in South Africa and beyond to get access to their own car.
Here’s how we do it:
Fair and simple
We have a much higher approval rate than banks, so people who’ve been rejected by banks can still get access to a car.
Get any car
Our network of 700+ dealerships offers new and good-quality used vehicles, which are a more realistic first car option for most people.
Why mobility matters to us
In many parts of the world, having a car is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. A car offers new opportunities and frees you from dependence on slow and unreliable public transport.
In the US, or in Europe where public transport systems are well developed, personal mobility is taken for granted. But in other parts of the world, getting from A to B comfortably, quickly and safely is an unreasonable challenge.
Unreliable or dysfunctional transportation systems, combined with obstacles to vehicle ownership, put ordinary people at a disadvantage:
- Everyday activities like taking the kids to school become unnecessarily time-consuming, stressful and even dangerous
- Opportunities for career development or education are limited
There is a vicious cycle when it comes to mobility.
Here’s how it works:
Transport inequality – the “mobility gap”
- You don’t have a car, so you’re stuck using public transportation, or hitching a ride with a friend – in any case, it takes a very long time to do everything you need to do
- You can’t apply for a better job, because it’s too far away
- Your credit score is low, because most service providers refuse to give you the chance to build up a good credit record
- Banks refuse to buy a car for you, so you have no way to realize your potential
There is a better way. Fair and simple access to a personal car can break this cycle.
How Planet42 helps
When it comes to assessing an application, we see the whole picture. We are happy to look at bank statements as proof of your creditworthiness. And we’ve also developed some smart technology that uses a wide range of data points to get a clear picture of your financial situation.
What’s more, our subscription model helps us to limit risk. We remain the official owner of the car until you decide to buy it outright. The option to own your car only gets easier over time, as the buy-out price decreases every time you make a rental payment. This helps to manage our risk, enabling us to offer mobility to more people.
Transport inequality is a global issue. There are hundreds of millions of people around the world who can afford a vehicle but are unfairly ignored by banks.
Our vision is to help bridge the mobility gap in whatever areas of the world we can have an impact. We have plans to move beyond South Africa as we grow and develop. We will also look into other forms of transportation which may be more suitable in certain countries.
Why traditional finance doesn’t work at the moment
There are hundreds of thousands of people with well-paying jobs who cannot access financial products like loans. This is because banks and other traditional lenders are too conservative, depriving deserving people of the chance to prove their creditworthiness.
Banks focus on serving customers with super high credit scores, as up to 90% of vehicle finance applications are rejected by banks.
A real impact on people’s lives
For us at Planet42, making a real difference to the lives of ordinary people is what it’s all about.
One of our customers, Lebo, is a registered nurse from Johannesburg. Her work requires her to travel to see her clients which are often far away from home with no convenient public transport. Because she didn’t have her own car, her only option was to take a rental car. She was constantly penalized for high mileage usage to the point that rental costs amounted to more than half of her salary. This is money she could have been saving, or investing into her home or education. Instead, it was being depleted by transport costs.
So, she came across Planet42, reached out to one of our dealerships, found a second-hand car she liked and submitted the application. She knew the banks were not willing to provide her vehicle financing because of some minor credit issues in the past, and they unfairly saw her as a high-risk person.
Where the banks saw a problem, we saw an essential worker who needed a car and, most importantly, could clearly afford one. She is, after all, a professional with a steady job.
Now she has her own car, and she’s paying 60% less per month on her transport to and from work. It’s safer, more convenient, and more affordable. And, of course, the car can be used on everything else Lebo needs to do, like pick up groceries and visit family. That’s what we’re all about.
The Planet42 team
Founded in Tallinn, with operations in South Africa and Mexico, Planet42 is a diverse group of ambitious people who share the belief that mobility is often the quickest way to improve people’s lives.
Planet42 was founded by Eerik Oja and Marten Orgna, who moved to South Africa from Estonia to launch Planet42.