Photo/IllutrationTomoko Nanba, second from left, founder and executive chairman of DeNa Co., and Keiji Nishizawa, second from right, CEO of domestic P&C insurance business director of Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc., announce their new business venture in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward on Feb. 28. (Kenichiro Shino)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Mobile game provider DeNa Co. is teaming with an insurance company to offer a unique car-sharing service where drivers can lease a vehicle at no charge but must make it available to others when not in use.

DeNa announced on Feb. 28 that it will set up the venture with Sompo Holdings in April to transfer “Anyca,” a car-sharing business, to the new company and start the “zero-yen my car” service for a limited period from summer.

Through it, users who do not own a car can lease a car under the condition the vehicle is made available to be rented out when not in use through Anyca, which DeNa has run for more than three years.

Lessees must show proof of having a parking space and are responsible for maintenance costs of their vehicles.

The strategy is aimed at increasing the number of cars that are registered as available for sharing as well as users of the car-sharing business.

They are considering focusing on providing insurance to their customers of car-sharing services.

Anyca, a smartphone app, can match a car owner seeking to lend their vehicle out with someone who wants to lease it.

With their agreement, users can drive a car at a lower cost than through the usual rental car agencies and may even be able to experience driving a premium luxury car that otherwise would be out of their price range.

Meanwhile, car owners can also be paid monthly if they agree to loan their cars to the car-sharing service.

If the amount of the “allowance” exceeds their total cost of maintaining their car, such as automobile safety inspection fees or vehicle taxes, it will be possible for the owners to keep a car virtually for free.

Those who wish to lend or lease a car must be screened prior to using the service.