Every year, my friend and I rent a car and head out on a road trip to visit a major league ballpark. Up to this point, we’ve always relied on the Big Three (or one of their subsidiaries) to get to and from our destination. Although we save the wear and tear on our own automobiles, we certainly don’t save much money. Rental car rates are high, especially when you roll in insurance. Thankfully, there’s now another option.
RelayRides is a car sharing marketplace that enables people to rent out their idle cars to others for small fee. Launched in 2012, RelayRides is available in over 1,600 cities across the U.S. In a recent blog, writer Sydney Jarod discussed the five main benefits of using RelayRides. Here is a brief summary of each:
- Convenient airport access – RelayRides is now available in nearly 250 airports in America. To rent a vehicle at a particular destination, users can search for the airport listing on the company’s marketplace and then reach out directly to the owners. Once a reservation is confirmed, the owner will meet you with the vehicle or pick you up and drop you off.
- Selection – RelayRides offers a broad nationwide selection of over 500 makes and models of vehicles within its network. Unlike rental car companies which are handcuffed by contracts, the individuals in our marketplace offer a selection that “mirrors the tastes of regular people who buy cars for themselves.”
- Price – RelayRides offers rates that are on 20-40% less on average than the traditional car rental companies and 40-50% less than ZipCar. Renters also have the option of choosing between self-insurance and two levels of basic or premium coverage.
- Environment – Car sharing is more environmentally friendly than traditional car rental companies. RelayRides boosts utilization of cars that have already been manufactured and are on the road and eliminates the need to build more cars to sit in a rental fleet. According to a study by UC Berkeley, car sharing helps take 14 cars off the road.
- Neighbors Helping Neighbors – By renting a vehicle through RelayRides you are helping the local economy. The rental fee you pay is likely to be spent in the community, keeping the money local.