Car renting gone viral?

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in The Daily Drive

In this day and age of social media, file sharing, online collaboration – being LinkedIn or Liked, it was only a matter of time before something really different became a social media phenomenon… how about “sharing” your car?

A company out of San Francisco, California has an unusual concept, you rent your car out to people when you are not using it, for money.   The company acts as the broker/middleman (maintaining a rather expensive auto insurance policy I might add) and provides a peer to peer ride share vs. file share.

RelayRides is only available in San Francisco and Boston currently, but it could be an idea which gains a lot of steam in urban areas where a lot of people do not own cars.   The car owner makes rental money (65% of the rental) and the renter gets a decent rate.   They have an upcoming deal with OnStar which allows the cell phone of the renter to open the car door… suddenly the car has gone viral!  Interesting, cool concept and I am excited to see where this company is in 5 years.

The only thing I would recommend is maybe the renter should be required to take some type of online driver safety course or maybe if they had a defensive driving course certificate of completion it would help reduce RelayRides auto insurance liability.

The video below describes in more detail!

Update 2021: This article was originally published in October, 2011. We’ve removed the video as RelayRides no longer exists. It’s now Turo, a thriving car-sharing app. We leave this up as a gentle reminder of how far we’ve come in the last 10 years. Ridesharing was a foreign concept. Who knows where we’ll be 10 years from now. Drive safe, folks.

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