Let’s be real; there are very few people who use their cars all day, every day, so learning how to rent out your car might be a side hustle worth looking into.
Most folks use it to get to and from work and maybe to the grocery store.
In the era of work-from-home and delivery everything, though, having a car is getting to be an expensive investment for so little usage.
- Is it time to up and sell your car?
- Should you rely on public transport to get around?
- Call on the goodwill of friends when you do want to make bigger trips on your own schedule?
There might actually be a better option that lets you keep your car and can actually let you start earning passive income from it.
You should look into car-sharing.
The Best Ways to Rent Out Your Car (Overview)
We’ve included an overview of our top picks below. For detailed information on each pick, scroll down.
What is Car Sharing?
Car sharing is essentially exactly what it sounds like on the tin; you’re sharing your car.
You get paid to let other people drive your car when you’re not using it, during the times it’d otherwise be sitting in your driveway or a parking spot at work.
How cool is that?
Learning how to rent out your car by using a car-sharing service is fairly simple from the start.
Most companies only require a quick form and an inspection before you’re set to start making money.
That can take as little as a day, meaning you could literally start making money tomorrow.
How is this different from traditional car rental?
Well, to start with, you don’t have to own a whole rental car business to share your car.
You just need a vehicle in good working condition and one of the many car-sharing apps on the market today.
Another big difference is in the length of time you can use the car.
For car sharing, you can rent out your car for a few hours a day when you’re not using it, and have it back whenever you need it.
Traditional rentals are taken in terms of days, weeks, or months.
You can also decide you want to rent out your car last minute if the renter is in your immediate area and you’ve got no plans.
With a traditional rental, you have to schedule your time days or weeks in advance.
Who would rent a car out from car shares?
Surprisingly, it’s pretty common for Uber and Lyft drivers to use car-sharing apps.
It’s also popular with Airbnb users.
This lets them get a better vehicle for driving around and doesn’t put their personal car at risk.
Don’t worry, though; the risks that come with car-sharing are pretty minimal.
Other than that, car sharing is used by people who don’t want the hassle or expense of owning their own cars.
Renters are generally people who can’t afford car payments or an insurance policy payment alongside it.
It’s everyday folks who just need to get from point A to point B in one piece and on time.
Some might use car-sharing for vacations and last-minute trips, but the majority of your renters are going to be folks on the daily grind.
Once you’ve registered your vehicle with the app of your choice (usually you’ll only need your driver’s license and insurance company information), the process in how to rent out your car is relatively simple.
You list the times that your car is available for use, and where it should be used.
If someone in your area needs a car for one of those times or places, they book it through the app.
You review the request and either confirm or deny it.
Most car-sharing apps require renters to pay in advance, so you’ve got the money coming in before your car leaves the driveway.
There are also steep fees for late drop-offs and overuse, so you don’t have to worry about people abusing your vehicle.
Clean the junk out of the footrests, remember to take your phone and charger out of the car, and drive it to the pickup location.
This is usually a parking lot or other well-populated area, where you hand off the keys or put them in a safe place and walk away.
After that, your part’s done!
The renter drives your car around to do whatever they need to do.
You’re covered by insurance, here; if they wreck your car, they’re paying for it.
When they’re done, they bring the car back to its original location or to a location you specify.
They put the keys in a safe place, you pick up your car, and you drive it home.
It’s as easy as that.
Peer to Peer Car Rental Companies
Want to get started but not sure how? Try a peer-to-peer (or individual owner) rental company.
Here’s the low-down on some of the most popular car-sharing apps:
Hyrecar claims that they can make you around $12,000 per year in extra income, which is a pretty sweet number.
With no introduction fees or long-term contracts, you have the freedom to set your prices and commissions right from their mobile app.
Turo claims to be the world’s largest car-sharing company; it has a huge network of 1500 cities all over the nation, making it extremely accessible.
They don’t need any experience with car sharing to join and boast an income of more than $10,500 a year for a single car in their market.
Turo works well for someone who’s just getting into car sharing, or who doesn’t want any hassle with setting up.
Something cool about Getaround is that, not only do they work with individual car owners, they can host an entire company fleet if you’re already a part of a larger company.
That means more money coming in from the vehicles your company already uses!
Their app is simple to set up and maintain, insurance is included in the main rental fee, and their Getaway Connect device lets renters unlock the car remotely, so you don’t have to turn over your keys.
Avail’s cars are protected by Allstate, and undergo rigorous inspections between rides to make sure they’re in top working order.
That makes them a great choice if you’re still a little iffy about letting strangers behind the wheel.
Their Avail for Airports program means free airport parking and more money from travelers, along with a complimentary car wash.
If you live near a busy airport, this might be the program for you.
Things to Consider When Learning How To Rent Out Your Car
All of this looking pretty good to you?
Then you should probably know what you need to think about before renting out your personal vehicle on a car-sharing service.
The price you’re getting per rental is going to depend on the make, model year, and age of your car.
Where you live will also affect it – city rentals in busy places like New York or San Francisco are going to be more expensive and frequent than suburban or rural rentals.
While most companies will include insurance for car-sharing in their fees, if they don’t, you’ll definitely need to look into getting it independently.
Not only is it a legal requirement, but it’s also going to protect you in the event of untrustworthy renters or freak accidents.
There are two parts to this factor, so we’ve broken it down, but the main gist is that you want to be sure you’ll be able to manage your time appropriately long before you sign up for a car-sharing app.
When will you list your car? Will it be on a regular schedule or an as-free basis? How many bookings can you manage at once?
You’ll have to figure out how you’re going to manage your listings and keep a close eye on them to avoid lateness.
Pickups and drop-offs
You’re also going to need to factor in the time you’ll need to drop off and pick up your car from your renters, as well as where those transfer locations are going to be.
If the app you’re using provides designated locations, make sure that there’s one near enough to you to be convenient.
If not, pick a public, well-trafficked spot and stick to it.
This is also a safety concern.
- Will you be meeting renters face-to-face?
- Leaving the key in a lockbox or with a worker for pickup?
Pick the app that has the most comfortable transfer method for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still got some questions about car sharing?
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, answered for your convenience.
Who’s in charge of keeping the car clean?
You as the owner are in charge of making sure the car is clean and well maintained before every trip. However, you’re not responsible for renters trashing your car after their reservation.
There’s usually a fee that can be tacked on by the car-sharing company for the damage to an owner’s vehicle if they get an incident report about it.
Is gas an extra charge?
Gas for the trip you book is included in the main rental fee.
If your renter goes over the expected mileage, they’ll have to pay an additional fee to cover the gas and maintenance costs.
Other than that, some people may just see it as a courtesy to fill up the car before giving it back, especially after long trips.
What happens if the car breaks down during a rental?
Most car-sharing companies will cover mechanical failures that happen as a freak accident, but it’s your responsibility to keep your car in good working order between rentals.
If they determine that it was a preventable failure, you’re probably going to have to pay for it on your own.
As an aside, not all companies will include roadside assistance in their insurance coverage. Be sure to double-check this before deciding on a company.
Does car sharing mean losing parking spots in my neighborhood?
Nope! According to the DOT in Washington DC, car sharing is actually a great way to reduce the traffic in high-occupancy neighborhoods.
This could make parking a little easier for everyone.
Car Sharing is Renting’s Future
Rentals are fine if you’re staying away from home for an extended time, but they’re just inconvenient for day-to-day use.
On top of that, there’s little to no way to get in on the rental business unless you’re ready to set up and run an entire business and a whole fleet of vehicles.
This is why car-sharing developed in the first place.
Car sharing is a great side hustle that lets you make extra cash when you need it.
You’ve already got a vehicle that serves you well.
So, why let it idle in your driveway when it could be bringing you in an income?
No fancy equipment, no long-term contracts, and no hassles – just sign your car up and go.
If you’re looking for an easy way to recoup some of the money you’re already putting into your vehicle, or if you’ve got an extra vehicle you were thinking of selling, car-sharing could be an amazing option for you.