There are more than 250 million vehicles in the United States and most are sitting idle 22 hours a day. Through their peer-to-peer automobile sharing community, the folks at Getaround aim to solve this car overpopulation problem, reducing not just the number of vehicles on the planet but bothersome traffic and dangerous pollution as well.
RewardExpert recently spoke with Jacqueline Tanzella, the company’s director of marketing communications, about how carsharing works, why you should consider lending out your own underutilized vehicle, and her tips for using Getaround on your next out-of-town adventure.
Car Owners Earn an Average $500 a Month
Founded in San Francisco in 2010 by Sam Zaid, Elliot Kroo, and Jessica Scorpio, Getaround has rapidly become one of the nation’s fastest-growing carsharing communities.
“We have about 500,000 users across the country,” Tanzella said. “Our typical owner is someone who doesn’t use their car as often as they originally anticipated. For example, someone who lives in a city but commutes to work via train or bike.”
Tanzella explained that car owners who opt to lend out their vehicles on Getaround rake in about $500 per month on average. “Most of our owners have an entrepreneurial spirit and are happy about the opportunity to earn passive income,” she added.
In addition to offsetting the cost of car payments and maintenance, Getaround owners receive a $50 monthly driving credit they can use to rent other vehicles, dedicated parking spots in some cities, and a $1,000,000 primary auto insurance policy that covers liability, collision, property damage, uninsured motorist protection, and theft whenever their car is rented.
Sharing a car is totally free. Owners don’t pay a dime for listing their vehicle on Getaround or the high-quality photos the company takes to help them market it. After a one-month free trial, owners pay a minimal one-time $99 fee for installation of Getaround Connect™—the technology required for on-demand rental and keyless entry—plus $20 a month for security features including GPS tracking, tamper detection, and engine lock.
Rental earnings accrue monthly, with Getaround retaining a 40 percent commission to cover operational costs. Car owners interested in joining the Getaround community can get started here.
Rent Cars by the Hour or the Day
Using Getaround is equally beneficial for renters. Though a popular service with people traveling to destinations where Getaround is available, many renters are city-dwellers without cars of their own.
“They have chosen to live car-free but still love the freedom of the open road and the adventures they can only have with a car,” Tanzella said. “Many also use Getaround vehicles to run errands like going to Ikea or the grocery store.”
Currently available in San Francisco, Berkley, Boston, Chicago, Oakland, Portland, Weehawken, Hoboken, Jersey City, and Washington D.C., Getaround offers both hourly and daily rentals with comprehensive insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance included.
“We’re one of the only car rental companies that allows you to rent by the hour,” said Tanzella. “Most are by the day, week, or month. We allow for hourly rental so people can fly into Chicago—for example—for an afternoon of meetings, get a car, drive from meeting to meeting, and then bring it back and fly out.”
She added that finding a car to rent is easy. “We have at least a few thousand vehicles in each city. Just use the mobile app or our website to search for a car in your destination,” she said. Search results can be filtered by price, transmission, dedicated parking, make and body type. Each car profile includes high-resolution photos, car-specific rules (such as nonsmoking or pet-free), the vehicle’s location, and rental availability.
“Book that car and you can pick it up as soon as you get there,” Tanzella continued. “Entry is keyless because of the technology we install. You actually don’t have to meet with the owner and coordinate time for a handoff. You can unlock the vehicle you’ve rented using the app.”
Though travelers can rent cars instantly from their phone, Tanzella still advises reserving a car in advance whenever possible. “Once you’ve booked your flight and hotel, book your Getaround car next,” she said. “That will give you more time, selection, and flexibility. A week to two weeks in advance is usually good.”