If you are the owner of a GM vehicle and subscribe to their OnStar service, you can now also make a little money on the side by renting out your car. Via San Francisco based RelayRides, those looking to borrow a car are matched with owners offering their vehicle for rent across the US.
The city car sharing concept is growing. The use of mobile technology through partnerships like OnStar and GM will add fuel to this car rental business model by simplifying the process and exposing the idea to more people. As Kelly Faircloth put it in an article for The New York Observer, “it makes it easier for drivers to rent out their idle vehicles, Airbnb-style“.
List Your Car
Not just any car can be listed as a rental through RelayRides. There are stipulations that must be met before the owner can offer their vehicle for rent. For example, they vehicle must be a model year 2000 or later and have no more than 120,000 miles on the odometer. Before being listed, the car must also fulfill all legal rules and regulations regarding safety, conditions, and operations.
Once accepted into the system, the vehicle owner determines the hourly rental rate, and receives 60% of the proceeds in the form of a monthly check. They also receive the full amount that was spent on gas and any charges pertaining to excess mileage. For peace of mind, RelayRide covers each vehicle under a $1 million liability insurance policy, and provides complete coverage (up to the vehicle’s cash value) against any physical damage that may occur while rented out.
Rent a Car
Like the vehicle, not just any person can rent through RelayRides. Persons wishing to become a renter must also go through a screening process and fulfill eligibility requirements including no major vehicle violations on record, an age of 21 or older, and have been driving for at least two consecutive years.
Once the applicant has been approved as a renter, they begin their search on RelayRides. The site maintains past renter ratings and feedback and an easy to navigate web site with links to major cities in the US offering cars for rent. Once a preferred rental car is determined, the renter either picks up the keys directly or receives a text message that unlocks the car through their mobile device using the OnStar system. That’s it! And no matter where the renter travels or for how long, RelayRides provides 24/7 roadside assistance.
Benefits for All
As an owner, the most obvious benefit is the cash you earn. You can also feel good about the green footprint you’re leaving behind. Per RelayRides web site, each time you rent your car out, you’re keeping an average of 15 other cars off the road.
As a renter, you support your community when you rent from a local owner, and save a great deal of money by spending minimal fees only for the amount of time you use the vehicle. You, too, are completing an earth-friendly act. When a car is manufactured, CO2 is released into the air. When you rent a car that’s already been built, you are saving the environment from harmful chemical compounds.
Would You “Share” Your Car? Leave a comment and let us know.