Getaround Connects Car Owners to Renters
Most of us are aware of the great alternatives to car ownership. Companies like Modo, Zipcar and car2go allow members to access a car when they need it and there are many benefits to using these services.
There's a new company called Getaround, launched in May 2011, that allows car owners to rent out their car.
"Car owners invest huge amounts of time and money into an asset they barely use," Getaround co-founder and CEO Sam Zaid explains. “Cars are driven only 8% of the time, while potential drivers walk past block after block of underutilized cars. We are here to connect the dots."
Rent your car: When you sign up to rent out your car, Getaround provides you with a small wi-fi and GPS-enabled device to install in your car. You set the price! Average prices on Getaround tend to range from $3 to $15 per hour depending on the make, model and location of the car.
Getaround projects that car owners stand to earn about $2,000 a year – which helps offset the high expense of owning a car.
Your car is covered: Getaround has arranged for the cars to be covered by for liability, collision and comprehensive insurance by Berkshire Hathaway as soon as the borrower gets in the car.
Borrow a car close by: If you're interested in borrowing a car, download the Getaround iPhone app to search for nearby cars on a map. Once you find one, you send a request to rent the car. Upon approval from the car owner, you can go and access the car (your phone becomes the key).
There are other similar companies, RelayRides and Spride Share, although they do not have the same level of mobile app sophistication. This tech savvy component of Getaround's service helped win them the prestigious TechCrunch Disrupt Award.
Getaround is currently operating in the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego – and seem to be doing very well. They currently do not have a specific timeline for bringing the service to British Columbia. However, if you'd like to see Getaround come cross the border, they do encourage you to sign up to express interest.