MOST of us are familiar with AirBnB , the online marketplace for sharing homes and rooms.
Well, the same system is also up and running for cars – it’s called Peer-to-Peer (P2P) car-sharing and there are thousands of cars up for rent across the nation on a bunch of websites such as easycarclub.com, hiyacar.com and rentecarlo.com.
You can use these sites to either try a plug-in vehicle before you buy or to reduce the cost of owning your vehicle.
In fact, renting your car out can make you a wad of cash whilst you are sunning yourself on the beach!
There is even a new service due to launch soon that allows you to drop your car at the airport and have a valet pick it up, clean it, rent it out whilst you are way and then bring it back to you, all cleaned and ready for you to take you home. And instead of paying for parking, you receive money for renting it out!
To put your car up for rent just sign up to one or all of the P2P car rental sites.
Registration is completely free of charge and takes a few minutes.
You then set a calendar of when the vehicle is available and wait to be contacted by people wanting to rent your car.
Depending on the value of your particular model, you can bring in hundreds of pounds.
All the sites will arrange for the insurance of the car as well as a contract for each booking.
The insurance cover is completely separate from your policy (although it is a requirement that you have one) which means if there is an accident, it won’t affect your No Claims Bonus, because you are not making the claim.
You can check out the rental history of the requesting renter and speak to them in advance of the rental to make sure you like the look and sound of them.
Car owners report that often, meeting lovely people and offering them a solution is as enjoyable as receiving the income.
Once you get into the swing of things and have regular customers, you can leave your key out in secure box with a special changeable code or, in the case of HiyaCar, have your car fitted with a special in-car kit the enables the car to be opened remotely via Smart Phone so that the renter can just fetch and drop the car without you having to be there.
The process requires the renter to take pictures of the car before and after the rental to ensure that if there is any damage, it is properly accounted for.
One of the attractions of renting out a pure electric car is that you can offer the renter a “free tank of fuel” in the form of a fully charged battery which they can return empty (as it only costs a couple of pounds to refuel). And if you are proud to be driving a zero emission vehicle, by renting the car out, you are spreading the word by giving others the experience of driving without burning fossil fuels – and getting paid for it!