Car-Sharing options just got a WHOLE lot better (and therefore options for many people to get rid of their current cars without completely sacrificing car access just got better).
Peer to peer carsharing is this new model. The basic idea is you can rent out your own car when you’re not needing it, or others can borrow someone else’s car when they need it — but there’s a solid structure for scheduling, insurance, and other carsharing issues.
Using carsharing services costs much less than owning a car for many situations. And lending your car through a peer-to-peer carsharing program can offset costs for car owners.
The two prime service providers right now are RelayRides and Getaround. After an initial glance, I vastly prefer RelayRides simply because they provide a lot of information upfront. With Getaround you have to join in order to actually find out any details about the program – and to join you have to give them access to your Facebook account. Even if they’re not doing anything nefarious, it hits all the right warning signs to keep me away. RelayRides on other hand provides a bunch of FAQs and information about how they work up front.
The only drawback? The services only appear to available in a few select cities so far. I’ve contacted RelayRides to find out what their criteria are for entering a new market, so we can get it started here in Motown. If I get useful info, I’ll post it here.
After starting Motor City CarShare last decade (and then watching it fizzle out because it was the wrong fit of carshare model to local context and frankly being just about 4 years too early for Detroit but that’s a whole other story) I got a lot of questions from folks about how to set up something a little simpler that allowed them to do carsharing but with their own cars or with friends. While these new services aren’t quite the same thing, they’re a big step closer to that model and open a whole new field of options for folks interested in carsharing.