Own a car? Here’s a statistic that may surprise you; on average, cars sit idle 95% of the time. Cars are expensive. Spending loads of money on one to use sparingly can feel wasteful. Luckily there are ways to help offset the cost of car ownership. You can rent your car out to other people in your community for money. It’s called peer-to-peer car sharing (P2P). It’s kind of like Airbnb or Rent the Runway, except instead of renting out your house or your clothing, you’re sharing your car.
Car sharing isn’t a new concept. Having a network of cars available to rent by the minute, hour, day or as part of a monthly or annual membership plan began in 1948 with a cooperative in Zurich, Switzerland. Though the idea didn’t exactly take off back then, it spawned several other carsharing efforts from Brittan to Sweden and led to additional models in the 1980s and 90s. Here’s a full recap of the history of car sharing.
It’s reported by movmi and the Carsharing Association that as of May 2019, car sharing is now offered in 59 countries with 236 operators in 3,128 cities worldwide. Peer-to-peer carsharing represents a small percentage of providers still, about 6%. Researchers from the Transportation Sustainability Research Center estimate over 2.9 million individuals participating in P2P car sharing as of 2017 in North America.
How Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Works
There are two primary ways to share a car. The first and most common is the in-person key exchange. This consists of a car owner and renter meeting at an agreed location, looking over the car together to assess its condition, and exchanging the car’s ignition key. The second is technology-based automation, whereby the renter uses a service’s mobile app to access the car digitally with a crypto key. This is how Maven Car Sharing[link] is designed to work. The Transportation Sustainability Research Center study found have that 80% of its respondents preferred automated access to cars rather than an in-person key exchange. Keyless access makes it easier to rent a car by the hour when you don’t have to meet someone to pick up and drop off the car. It’s also nice for owners who work regular jobs and use P2P car sharing as supplemental income. Other considerations before people share their cars often include maintenance and insurance. While owners are responsible to keep their cars maintained and insured, there’s additional insurance and protections provided to owners’ cars while they are actively being rented out. It varies from service to service, but Maven provides $1,000,000,000 liability policy, plus gap insurance for every reservation. Other policies are in place to help protect an owners’ cars, including no smoking policies and mileage limits. Maven’s mobile app is used by the renter before and after the reservation to capture pictures and to certify the condition of the car before it’s taken and after it’s delivered back to its parking location.
Earnings vary from platform to platform and car to car. A car owner and car sharing service share the revenue of each reservation. In some cases, the revenue share is impacted by the level of insurance protection an owner opts to include for each reservation. With Maven, the revenue share is flat, 60% goes to the owner, 40% to Maven. The same level of insurance protection is provided with every reservation. Additional fees collected for things like over mileage go directly to the owner. The hourly and daily prices for a car are decided by the owner. Recommendations are provided, but the price is ultimately up to you. Before deciding how to price your car it’s smart to look for the price of other cars available to rent in your area. Make sure to consider special features and luxury models that may make one car more desirable to rent than another.
Increasingly, owners are earning money renting out their cars, and using the profits to buy additional cars. Once you have more than one car listed on a car sharing platform, you’re considered a micro-fleet owner. Fleet ownership is not for everyone, but it can be quite lucrative depending on demand. One of the advantages of listing a micro-fleet with Maven is it allows you to juggle more reservations and cars in a day since you don’t have to meet your renters every time a reservation is made.
To start earning with Maven Car Sharing, click here and see if your car and parking location are eligible to share.