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Airbnb For Cars: The Best Carsharing Platforms In 2021 And Beyond

Last updated: August 16, 2021
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vector graphic of a woman handing a man a pair of keys with a car in the background for airbnb for cars post

It’s a common myth that every adult needs a car to operate their daily lives.

Don’t believe us?

Did you know that the average car is parked for an average of 22 hours a day?

That means that all of the fees we pay in car insurance, maintenance, gas, and simply the cost of leasing or purchasing a car to begin with is a massive investment for very little return.

So it makes sense that more people are turning to car sharing platforms, or “Airbnb for cars”, as an alternative to owning a car and renting a vehicle through traditional routes.

What Is Car Sharing? (Or “Airbnb for Cars”)

According to gigworker.com, carsharing is “defined by its environmental and social purpose, rather than business and financial objectives.”

Really it’s when you need a car instead of renting from a big company; you can rent cars from individuals looking to make extra money for a few hours.

Car sharing is a type of rental car where you rent cars for much shorter periods.

Car sharing is usually designed for local and shorter trips, making it ideal for people living in a city who don’t own a car.

It’s designed to encourage people to simply used cars last.

The thinking behind this is that if you don’t have a car in your driveway, you will be more motivated to find other modes of transportation.

Whether it be biking, riding a train or bus, or carpooling with others, car sharing allows people the ability to live a car-free lifestyle and still rent transportation when they need it.

Who Owns The Cars?

Local users own the cars. Any individual trying to make passive income or trying to make extra money on the side who owns a vehicle is the people who rent their cars out to the public.

Who Rents The Cars?

Because of its convenience and flexibility, car renting through carsharing is becoming a more popular choice than traditional routes.

Carsharing is becoming especially popular for those who don’t own vehicles, for those living in a city, for the younger generation, and younger people traveling on vacation.

Additionally, carsharing seems to be much better for the environment.

According to treehugger.com, car sharing can keep between 6 to 20 cars off the road.

Therefore, carsharing is becoming much more popular among environmentalists.

How Is This Different Than Traditional Rental Cars?

Carsharing is just a type of rental car. What separates carsharing from traditional rental vehicles is a couple of significant factors.

For example, you can rent a car at any time during the day versus traditional rental car companies where you have to rent a car during their specific business hours.

This is better for people who arrive on redeye flights or those who don’t own a car.

When you’re not limited to someone else’s business hours, a whole world of flexibility opens up.

Another big difference is that when you rent a car through car sharing, you only pay for the time you use it and the specific miles you travel.

This directly opposes traditional renters.

For example, when you rent a car through conventional rental car companies, you pay for the total amount of time you have the vehicle, even if the vehicle is sitting in your hotel parking lot.

The Benefits

There are a lot of benefits to using carsharing models rather than rental companies.

  • For one, it’s much more environmentally friendly as it takes so many cars off the road.
  • For another, the renters’ costs go way down.

For example, you don’t have to pay for gas, and you don’t have to pay for maintenance like oil changes or power washes, you don’t have to pay insurance – you’re only paying for the trips you take.

There are many benefits for people renting out their cars because now you are making money off of a car that would otherwise be sitting in your driveway.

When you start to rent your vehicle, you become the owner of your own small business.

Think of yourself as building a small car rental company, except for all of the money you need to invest up front you already have because you’ve already purchased your car.

Carsharing Companies

vector image of a woman holding a set of car keys handing them to a man to indicate airbnb for cars platforms

We’ve entered an age of sharing economy; as a result, it’s throwing the car rental industry on its head.

So while rental agencies like Hertz and Enterprise may have been hurting during the pandemic, individuals have kept afloat with these new Airbnb carsharing companies.

The most popular carsharing company is undoubtedly Zipcar, as it was one of the first to hit the market. Other popular companies include:

  • Hyrecar
  • Turo
  • Getaround

Let’s talk a little bit more about each of these companies and what makes them different from one another so you can find the fit that’s right for you.

Zipcar

One of the carsharing companies who have been around the longest, and their business model has allowed them to create some of the lowest rates among the carsharing apps.

You can rent a car for as little as 7 dollars, and you can rent driving rates from 10 dollars per hour or to 83 dollars per day.

When you choose Zipcar, you also get Maintenance and 24/7 roadside assistance.

Zipcar also comes with prepaid gas cards in the car, while other companies make you pay for gas yourself.

Hyrecar

Hyrecar works like other carsharing companies.

Simply download their app, browse the available cars, download your insurance documents, and then get started on your drive.

A great feature of Hyrecar is that you can rent cars for maybe longer periods, such as by the month.

This is great if you need to make some extra cash because you can drive your rental car to drive for Lyft, Postmates or Uber, or food delivery services.

It’s also great because then you don’t have to have the commitment that comes with it; you rent the car for however long you need it and forever however long you want to earn extra income with a comma, and then you can return it.

Hyrecar also has an auto-buying program to help you find a more permanent solution should you want one.

Turo

Turo is fun because they boast exciting car brands that you may not have had access to before, like Tesla, BMW, and Porsche.

But, if fancy isn’t your style, you can just rent a Nissan and call it a day. They provide cars for all budgets, including $25 a day.

And because they have such a large selection of luxury cars, another great feature of Turo is that you can test drive a vehicle that you’ve always wanted to purchase.

Examples include vehicles like a Tesla or a Porsche and be able to get a feel for if you’d like to make this along to investment or if you just want to rent the car for special occasions.

Turo is also the world’s largest carsharing company, and according to their website, they have cars in an astounding 5500 cities operate in the United States, the UK, and Canada.

Check out Turo.com now to see more rates and vehicles.

Did You Know?

There is a fierce battle when it comes to HyreCar vs Turo.

You can take advantage of this battle when it comes to price.

Shop around on both vehicle marketplaces and get the best price you can find!

Getaround

Founded in 2009, Getaround is a carsharing service that now operates in more than 800 cities worldwide.

A reputable site for your car sharing needs to get around is highly rated and has a lot of options, a lot of affordable options for every car renter.

From New York to LA, you can rent a car anywhere in the United States and more.

The Car Share Rental Process

how airbnb for cars work

While some of the details may differ depending on the different companies you choose, all carsharing companies operate along the same broad lines.

Here is how the process generally works:

1. Booking

Undoubtedly, the most significant benefit to car sharing and the airbnb of cars is its convenience and easy access. This is especially true for the booking process.

Simply download the different apps to cruise which car, when, and how long to get started.

2. Payment

Pricing varies depending on which company you use, what car you rent, and for how long, but payment is easy enough.

Rent the car for a certain amount of time and pay up front with a credit card.

If there are any spills or messes, you may be subject to cleaning fees.

3. Pickup

Unlike traditional car rental, carsharing apps make it easy to unlock cars nearby you.

Browse on the app, find a car near you, and then follow the unlocking structures on the app.

4. Driving

The fun part!

This is the part where you get to drop the windows and bump that bass as you drive around town.

Some companies have rules while driving (like Getaround has a 200-mile limit, and if you exceed that, you may be subject to fines), but for the most part, this is the easy, self-explanation part.

Then, drop off your car when you’re finished.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Insurance Work?

This is probably the area that people have the most trouble with over the most questions about the legal and insurance coverage aspect.

For car sharers, people wonder what the production is like when renting out their vehicle and if they’re even allowed to.

For car renters, you may be wondering if you have to purchase additional insurance to begin renting a car.

Luckily these carsharing companies make it easy for both sides.

As Turo helpfully points out, it’s not illegal to share your car.

However, for anyone leasing their vehicle and who wishes to rent their car, you should probably check your leasing agreement to make sure that you are indeed allowed to write your car out.

Beyond that, if you own your car or if your leasing agreement allows you to share your car, the companies provide protection plans to cover any losses or damages that happen while renting out your car.

For people wishing to rent cars, it’s even more straightforward. When you rent the vehicle, you also download insurance in production plans, so you don’t need to do anything extra.

For more specific information on insurance information and liability insurance, check the details carefully on each company as the details differ from company to company.

Is It Really That Much Better For The Environment?

Yes! It is. Renting a peer car is much better for the environment simply because it takes so many cars off the road. With fewer car owners on the street, the better it is for emissions.

Final Thoughts

Carsharing apps are quickly overtaking traditional means to rent a car.

With convenience, low costs, and hassle-free process, it’s no wonder more and more people are turning to carsharing apps.

So, bust out on that road trip now. Or create some small businesses.

The carsharing marketplace is bubbling, and the possibilities are limitless.

Reinvent what car ownership means today.

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