Normally you pay the bills on your car whether you drive it or not, at least if you have a car loan or insurance. But if car sharing delivers on its promise, you might be able to reverse the direction of your car cashflow and put money in your pocket for leaving your car alone for a long period of time.
Getaround is one of several peer-to-peer car-sharing companies that lets 10,000 users in select cities rent out their car by the hour to neighbors. That's smart business meant to help car owners cut the cost of keeping up their rides, and making good use of an abundant, idle resource—the company estimates 250 million cars sit parked and unused every day. But can be a pain to clean and care for your car with multiple strangers using it each week, plus you have to be there to actually do it.
So, Getaround is now offering Getaway, long term peer-to-peer rental service, that comes with the bonus that the company will care for your car while you ignore it.
"We’ve heard from countless owners across the country that they are looking for a way to share their car through Getaround for an extended period of time, and aren’t able to manage their car," said Sam Zaid, CEO and founder of Getaround in a statement. "From being called to military duty to taking a trip around the world to going away to college, we know there is a demand."
The company is starting off the new service in San Francisco and Chicago today by promising $1,000 in income for the first three months as incentive to sign up new car owners. Not bad if you don't drive. They can make that promise because they get to control your car, so using a patent-pending formula they'll monitor how much it's making and move it around to different locations to maximize returns.
This is no easy task, as any fleet manager for a rental car company will tell you. But it sure sounds like a great deal for the owners. They get paid and don't have to park their cars for months at a time. That's a dream come true in dense cities like Chicago.
To drive the point home, consider this comment from a happy customer that Getaround is spreading to journalists: "My wife and I decided to take a three month honeymoon to Southeast Asia, and didn’t know what to do with our car while we were away," said Amit Verma, a Getaround member. "Instead of leaving our car parked in a friend’s garage, we decided to enroll our car in Getaway and made $1600."
Kinda makes me want to plan a beach vacation.