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Published on April 29th, 2010 | by Nick Chambers

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Next Generation of Car Sharing: You Rent Your Car to a Complete Stranger

In the last 3 years, car sharing services such as ZipCar have seen tremendous growth. According to some estimates, between 2007 and 2009 the industry saw a 117% increase in the number of users in North America. By 2016, that same study expects there to be 4.4 million car sharing users in North America and 5.5 million in Europe.

So it’s no surprise that the number of players in the car sharing world has been increasing at a breakneck pace. And now the next step in its evolution seems to be coming to fruition: renting your own personal car out to complete strangers for a price you set but through an online service that organizes the whole thing.

Known as personal car sharing or distributed car sharing, the concept is very intriguing… and runs somewhat contrary to how many people view their cars.

By many accounts, once people dive into the world of car sharing their lives seem to transform… it’s as if, with the burdens of car ownership lifted, they are somehow lighter beings. But, of course, being able to aptly benefit from car sharing requires that your lifestyle fits around it and that you give up the notion that owning a car is a necessity to prove that things are okay in your life.

So, if the idea of car sharing is a bit too much for you to wrap your mind around, consider this further evolution of the concept: Just today comes word of three separate ventures that want to give you, as a car owner, the option of renting your car out to complete strangers when it’s sitting idle in your driveway:

The basic premises of the models are the same. The cars and drivers are certified through some kind of background check. As the renter, you tell the online system when your car is available and then others can search the website for available cars. You set the price, either by hour or by day or week. In the case of WhipCar and RelayRides, they provide the insurance for the duration of the car share, but, as aluded to above, Spride is opting to try and get laws changed to avoid having to carry the costly insurance themselves. In some cases, your car has to be outfitted with special gear that unlocks it with a card, avoiding the necessity of physical interaction between renter and rentee. In others, the owner and the renter have to meet to exchange keys and the like.

So, how do these services make money? They take a cut of the rental fee, something like 15%. Even with their cut added in, all of the services claim that you would be able to save a lot of money over traditional rental services. And for owners of cars who are willing to give up much of the personal attachment to their car, the financial rewards can be enough to completely offset the cost of ownership, and maybe even put a little money in your pocket.

But given the fact that a car is such a personal thing these days, I think the major hurdle to the acceptance of these types of services will be if people can let go of the idea of car as a personal item and look at it purely as a tool. And you’d gladly lend out your drill to complete strangers if they paid you for it now, wouldn’t you? Well, most of us anyways. Some people are really attached to their tools.

Sources: Earth2Tech and Green Car Advisor




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About the Author

Not your traditional car guy.



  • Len

    I would consider asset forfeiture as a major hurdle.

  • Len

    I would consider asset forfeiture as a major hurdle.

  • Barry D

    Would I rent out my family cars?

    We keep our cars for a very long time, and a lot of miles. The highest-mileage car at the moment is over 255K.

    Cars last, or don’t last, based in part on the accumulation of small differences in driving style, care, etc. After 5+ years, that stuff really matters.

    Would I expect my car to last like that if it were driven the way that rental cars are driven? No way.

    Of course, I got past the “car as status symbol” thing a long time ago…

  • Barry D

    Would I rent out my family cars?

    We keep our cars for a very long time, and a lot of miles. The highest-mileage car at the moment is over 255K.

    Cars last, or don’t last, based in part on the accumulation of small differences in driving style, care, etc. After 5+ years, that stuff really matters.

    Would I expect my car to last like that if it were driven the way that rental cars are driven? No way.

    Of course, I got past the “car as status symbol” thing a long time ago…

  • Barry D

    P.S. see “Tragedy of the Commons”…

  • Barry D

    P.S. see “Tragedy of the Commons”…

  • Scorpius

    Well, the problem is if I lend you my “drill” and you keep it a little or a lot longer it’s no big deal. However, if you rent my car from 12 pm – 4 pm and you decide to keep it overnight (paying the fee, of course) I might be put out. I mean, I might have lent you it since I won’t be using it from when I park it in my office building at 8 till I leave at 5; but at 5 I need it to go home.

    And how about emergencies? I can’t think of any situation where “I need my drill now!” but I can think of several situations off the top of my head where I would “need my car now!” when I didn’t 10 minutes ago.

    Sorry, until this service is a few more years old I won’t be describing it as some new trend of the future.

  • Scorpius

    Well, the problem is if I lend you my “drill” and you keep it a little or a lot longer it’s no big deal. However, if you rent my car from 12 pm – 4 pm and you decide to keep it overnight (paying the fee, of course) I might be put out. I mean, I might have lent you it since I won’t be using it from when I park it in my office building at 8 till I leave at 5; but at 5 I need it to go home.

    And how about emergencies? I can’t think of any situation where “I need my drill now!” but I can think of several situations off the top of my head where I would “need my car now!” when I didn’t 10 minutes ago.

    Sorry, until this service is a few more years old I won’t be describing it as some new trend of the future.

  • Just Me

    Have you ever seen the condition most rental cars are in? Most people treat rentals like dirt, because it isn’t theirs.

    You would have to be out of your mind.

  • Just Me

    Have you ever seen the condition most rental cars are in? Most people treat rentals like dirt, because it isn’t theirs.

    You would have to be out of your mind.

  • Mastro

    Terrible idea for America. Maybe in the Third world.

    Too many issues- what to do about your CD collection/spare jacket/tool set? What do you do if its returned dirty? (damaged is accounted for)

    Isn’t there an old saying about a rented car “no one washes a rental”? How will this person treat your car? Am I terribly classist to think that someone who can’t afford a car might not be the most responsible person? Are they renting it to go to a funeral- or to go to Glastonbury-type concert?

    • http://Web Dave

      If you return a carsharing vehicle very dirty you will pay fee. It’s a shared vehicle, not your own. Have you rented a car recently? You’ll pay a fee if you leave a bunch of junk in it, now. Zipcar, and others, have shown that issues like people leaving their CDs in the car can be dealt with (mostly they’re ripped CD, so the loss isn’t too huge).
      You must not be the target demographic, and that’s okay. If carsharing doesn’t work for you, then you can keep spending your money to have your parked car waiting for you.

  • Mastro

    Terrible idea for America. Maybe in the Third world.

    Too many issues- what to do about your CD collection/spare jacket/tool set? What do you do if its returned dirty? (damaged is accounted for)

    Isn’t there an old saying about a rented car “no one washes a rental”? How will this person treat your car? Am I terribly classist to think that someone who can’t afford a car might not be the most responsible person? Are they renting it to go to a funeral- or to go to Glastonbury-type concert?

  • Minotaur

    After seeing what rental cars look (and run)like when the rental agency turns them over to me to rent: No Thanks.

  • Minotaur

    After seeing what rental cars look (and run)like when the rental agency turns them over to me to rent: No Thanks.

  • Minotaur

    After seeing what rental cars look (and run)like when the rental agency turns them over to me to rent: No Thanks.

  • David

    Len – Hole in one!

  • David

    Len – Hole in one!

  • JB

    Not a chance in hell will this catch on.

  • JB

    Not a chance in hell will this catch on.

  • JB

    Not a chance in hell will this catch on.

  • cas127

    Response to Asset Forfeiture/Car Theft concern:

    I’m pretty sure the cars are going to be equipped with a radio-based engine lock system (which exists but is little known).

    Response to Cultural Concerns (ie, “Ick, what *is* this in *my* car…”):

    I agree that people view their cars very personally but…the proposed systems can *also* be viewed as a relatively low-cost, low-scale way to get into the car rental business on a micro-scale (one car at a time).

    That is, people may purchase cars only to rent them via the new system…

  • cas127

    Response to Asset Forfeiture/Car Theft concern:

    I’m pretty sure the cars are going to be equipped with a radio-based engine lock system (which exists but is little known).

    Response to Cultural Concerns (ie, “Ick, what *is* this in *my* car…”):

    I agree that people view their cars very personally but…the proposed systems can *also* be viewed as a relatively low-cost, low-scale way to get into the car rental business on a micro-scale (one car at a time).

    That is, people may purchase cars only to rent them via the new system…

  • Meyerer Miller

    Zip cars work precisely because the car doesn’t belong to any one person. No one wants to risk that their personal car is trashed by someone paying a smallish rental fee.

  • Meyerer Miller

    Zip cars work precisely because the car doesn’t belong to any one person. No one wants to risk that their personal car is trashed by someone paying a smallish rental fee.

  • http://ipadtest.wordpress.com Mike Cane

    It will die once someone is busted for having a drug stash in a car that was forgotten by a former renter.

  • http://ipadtest.wordpress.com Mike Cane

    It will die once someone is busted for having a drug stash in a car that was forgotten by a former renter.

  • John

    Yeah, that’s what I want to do. I want to trust my $30,000 vehicle to a complete stranger who has no interest in the car running well for 150,000 miles.

  • John

    Yeah, that’s what I want to do. I want to trust my $30,000 vehicle to a complete stranger who has no interest in the car running well for 150,000 miles.

  • BT

    I don’t loan my tools out – I used to, and whenever I did they would come back damaged.

  • BT

    I don’t loan my tools out – I used to, and whenever I did they would come back damaged.

  • BT

    I don’t loan my tools out – I used to, and whenever I did they would come back damaged.

  • Akatsukami

    A number of my friends have voted “Hell, no!” on this idea, feeling the middleman cannot either realistically vet renters or indemnify owners.

  • Akatsukami

    A number of my friends have voted “Hell, no!” on this idea, feeling the middleman cannot either realistically vet renters or indemnify owners.

  • Akatsukami

    A number of my friends have voted “Hell, no!” on this idea, feeling the middleman cannot either realistically vet renters or indemnify owners.

  • JVN

    I think the major hurdle to the acceptance of these types of services will be if people can let go of the idea of car as a personal item and look at it purely as a tool. And you’d gladly lend out your drill to complete strangers if they paid you for it now, wouldn’t you?

    Can we please make an effort not to begin and end every analysis of transport a/o environmental problems by blaming the venality of the American consumer.

    The limitations of these models have less to do w/ peoples’ supposed psychological hang-ups than they do with the pricing and liability dilemma that they impose. Simply put, individuals are not well positioned to price the rental of their car efficiently and cannot effectively absorb the liability that they incur by doing so.

    You’ll notice that these services attempt to do this for you, by benchmarking on retail rental rates. But what do rental operations have that individual’s don’t – fleet cars w/ fleet insurance coverage, repair and maintenance operations, discount parts, cheap gas, tow trucks etc. They’re starting with less expensive cars, and lower maintenance costs,and at that they’re still selling these cars off when they hit about 25K miles ( wonder why that is? ).

    Take a look at the fine print of how these online services handle damage and insurance claims, and the amounts that owners are on the line for. It’s not a proposition that I see many people accepting.

    Where I can see these services working is in cities, like NYC, where many people own beaters that they use like go-carts just to get around the city. In these cases, a rental may make sense because the owner has little interest in maintaining the car. The car is almost fully devalued, and probably won’t be repaired beyond the minimum required.

  • JVN

    I think the major hurdle to the acceptance of these types of services will be if people can let go of the idea of car as a personal item and look at it purely as a tool. And you’d gladly lend out your drill to complete strangers if they paid you for it now, wouldn’t you?

    Can we please make an effort not to begin and end every analysis of transport a/o environmental problems by blaming the venality of the American consumer.

    The limitations of these models have less to do w/ peoples’ supposed psychological hang-ups than they do with the pricing and liability dilemma that they impose. Simply put, individuals are not well positioned to price the rental of their car efficiently and cannot effectively absorb the liability that they incur by doing so.

    You’ll notice that these services attempt to do this for you, by benchmarking on retail rental rates. But what do rental operations have that individual’s don’t – fleet cars w/ fleet insurance coverage, repair and maintenance operations, discount parts, cheap gas, tow trucks etc. They’re starting with less expensive cars, and lower maintenance costs,and at that they’re still selling these cars off when they hit about 25K miles ( wonder why that is? ).

    Take a look at the fine print of how these online services handle damage and insurance claims, and the amounts that owners are on the line for. It’s not a proposition that I see many people accepting.

    Where I can see these services working is in cities, like NYC, where many people own beaters that they use like go-carts just to get around the city. In these cases, a rental may make sense because the owner has little interest in maintaining the car. The car is almost fully devalued, and probably won’t be repaired beyond the minimum required.

  • douglas prince

    I’d have to say this is a NO-Brainer as only those with no brains would buy into it. Venality aside (good word, JVN!), people take less responsibility with an item they feel less responsible for, despite any background checks or references made.

    We’re humans. We suck.

  • douglas prince

    I’d have to say this is a NO-Brainer as only those with no brains would buy into it. Venality aside (good word, JVN!), people take less responsibility with an item they feel less responsible for, despite any background checks or references made.

    We’re humans. We suck.

  • douglas prince

    I’d have to say this is a NO-Brainer as only those with no brains would buy into it. Venality aside (good word, JVN!), people take less responsibility with an item they feel less responsible for, despite any background checks or references made.

    We’re humans. We suck.

  • Fred

    Ever read “On the Road” by Kerouac? Several times he was able to arrange for rides cross country via services that were in place back in the day where people would arrange for their cars to be moved from one state to the other. Unfortunately Kerouac and crew repeatedly destroyed the cars or at best left them in much worse shape than they started in. Probably a big reason why we don’t see many such services today…

  • Fred

    Ever read “On the Road” by Kerouac? Several times he was able to arrange for rides cross country via services that were in place back in the day where people would arrange for their cars to be moved from one state to the other. Unfortunately Kerouac and crew repeatedly destroyed the cars or at best left them in much worse shape than they started in. Probably a big reason why we don’t see many such services today…

  • http://pinkyracer.com Susanna Schick

    Wow, what a negative bunch. Since I hate sitting in a car more than I hate say, sitting in the dentists’ chair, mine sits around doing nothing 90% of the time. I would LOVE to rent it out to people. Also since I hate being in a car, I drive it like my motorcycle, so if anyone’s shortening its Toyota-long life span, it’s me. :-)

    Please, rent my car. I’d rather be on my motorcycle but can’t bring myself to sell something I need once or twice a month for road trips.

  • http://pinkyracer.com Susanna Schick

    Wow, what a negative bunch. Since I hate sitting in a car more than I hate say, sitting in the dentists’ chair, mine sits around doing nothing 90% of the time. I would LOVE to rent it out to people. Also since I hate being in a car, I drive it like my motorcycle, so if anyone’s shortening its Toyota-long life span, it’s me. :-)

    Please, rent my car. I’d rather be on my motorcycle but can’t bring myself to sell something I need once or twice a month for road trips.

  • http://pinkyracer.com Susanna Schick

    Wow, what a negative bunch. Since I hate sitting in a car more than I hate say, sitting in the dentists’ chair, mine sits around doing nothing 90% of the time. I would LOVE to rent it out to people. Also since I hate being in a car, I drive it like my motorcycle, so if anyone’s shortening its Toyota-long life span, it’s me. :-)

    Please, rent my car. I’d rather be on my motorcycle but can’t bring myself to sell something I need once or twice a month for road trips.

  • Shem Lawlor

    Most of the posts on here are expressing pretty negative sentiment towards the idea. You are all probably correct in saying that most people wouldn’t want to participate…and that’s fine.

    However, even the participation of a very small percentage of the whole can make a HUGE impact. Consider that the average user to vehicle ratio of carsharing providers is more than 30:1. This means that for every one driver who is willing to ‘share’ their vehicle, up to 30 drivers may be able to get rid of their own car, using public transit/biking/walking for commuting and carsharing for high flexibility trips like grocery shopping.

    If ten years from now 0.5% of current drivers were sharing their cars, as many as 15% of current drivers could be living carfree. The average transit mode share in US cities is only 5% currently. This could essentially triple US transit mode share with only one in every 200 drivers being willing to participate.

  • Shem Lawlor

    Most of the posts on here are expressing pretty negative sentiment towards the idea. You are all probably correct in saying that most people wouldn’t want to participate…and that’s fine.

    However, even the participation of a very small percentage of the whole can make a HUGE impact. Consider that the average user to vehicle ratio of carsharing providers is more than 30:1. This means that for every one driver who is willing to ‘share’ their vehicle, up to 30 drivers may be able to get rid of their own car, using public transit/biking/walking for commuting and carsharing for high flexibility trips like grocery shopping.

    If ten years from now 0.5% of current drivers were sharing their cars, as many as 15% of current drivers could be living carfree. The average transit mode share in US cities is only 5% currently. This could essentially triple US transit mode share with only one in every 200 drivers being willing to participate.

  • Shem Lawlor

    Most of the posts on here are expressing pretty negative sentiment towards the idea. You are all probably correct in saying that most people wouldn’t want to participate…and that’s fine.

    However, even the participation of a very small percentage of the whole can make a HUGE impact. Consider that the average user to vehicle ratio of carsharing providers is more than 30:1. This means that for every one driver who is willing to ‘share’ their vehicle, up to 30 drivers may be able to get rid of their own car, using public transit/biking/walking for commuting and carsharing for high flexibility trips like grocery shopping.

    If ten years from now 0.5% of current drivers were sharing their cars, as many as 15% of current drivers could be living carfree. The average transit mode share in US cities is only 5% currently. This could essentially triple US transit mode share with only one in every 200 drivers being willing to participate.

  • http://relayrides.com Boris Mordkovich

    Hi there,

    My name is Boris Mordkovich and I’m the Director of Marketing for RelayRides. I appreciate all of your comments and feedback that was posted in this thread.

    I realize that person-to-person questions are a relatively new concept, so if you have any specific questions about the service, please feel free to reach out and I’d be more than happy to address them. You can reach me and the rest of our team via info@relayrides.com

    – Boris Mordkovich

  • http://relayrides.com Boris Mordkovich

    Hi there,

    My name is Boris Mordkovich and I’m the Director of Marketing for RelayRides. I appreciate all of your comments and feedback that was posted in this thread.

    I realize that person-to-person questions are a relatively new concept, so if you have any specific questions about the service, please feel free to reach out and I’d be more than happy to address them. You can reach me and the rest of our team via info@relayrides.com

    – Boris Mordkovich

  • http://relayrides.com Boris Mordkovich

    Hi there,

    My name is Boris Mordkovich and I’m the Director of Marketing for RelayRides. I appreciate all of your comments and feedback that was posted in this thread.

    I realize that person-to-person questions are a relatively new concept, so if you have any specific questions about the service, please feel free to reach out and I’d be more than happy to address them. You can reach me and the rest of our team via info@relayrides.com

    – Boris Mordkovich

  • http://www.loran.md Loran

    It is just not right to make one type of business subsidize another and that is what this is doing. Why not put another tax on taxi cabs or buses and limosine services?

    Quote: “local car rental companies protested that most of their customers are local residents who would face higher costs”

    Exactly, council knows that local people will pay for it and they are turning a blind eye to it just to raise taxes. Council who voted for it should be voted out in the next election.

    I bet if one of the council members owned a car rental franchise this would never pass.

  • http://www.loran.md Loran

    It is just not right to make one type of business subsidize another and that is what this is doing. Why not put another tax on taxi cabs or buses and limosine services?

    Quote: “local car rental companies protested that most of their customers are local residents who would face higher costs”

    Exactly, council knows that local people will pay for it and they are turning a blind eye to it just to raise taxes. Council who voted for it should be voted out in the next election.

    I bet if one of the council members owned a car rental franchise this would never pass.

  • Robert

    There are two other competitors in this space

    http://www.go-op.net

    http://www.gettaround.com

  • Robert

    There are two other competitors in this space

    http://www.go-op.net

    http://www.gettaround.com

    • http://Web garrison

      There are still serious problems with this model. They have not dealt with the issues of criminal usage nor liability for badly maintained cars, whose brakes or other safety-critical systems may go out. They claim they initially “inspect” each car and that renters “rate” their mechanical experience, and that’s it in terms of ongoing safety check. There is no way I would get in someone else’s used car, driven by scads of strangers, and who knows if the car has even been maintained. A one-time cursory inspection is not enough to guarantee safety, there are a lot of occult issues that can be wrong with a car that only removing engine compartment components can visualize.

      By contrast, professional rental car companies maintain strict fleet maintenance inspections daily, required by law, and have more strict standards for fluid pressures, brake levels, and power-train testing. Also, Relay says they have a 1mil supp. policy (GetAround does the same kind of thing) to ensure all the cars with a 500$ ded. What they didn’t tell you was that in cases of major liability there are common court workarounds that can completely bypass that insurance and can tap directly the owner of the car and the driver, and implicate the business that oversaw the transaction financially and criminally if disrepair is involved. On that topic, if a hit-and-run is conducted accidentally or intentionally by the stranger you lent your car to, you can be held criminally liable for the actions of your car if your car is later tracked down by traffic cam, witness, etc, where the driver is not actually ID’d. It’s your word against theirs that it wasn’t you in the car, and you can get embroiled in all kinds of police procedural issues. No matter what, your car will be impounded. In many states, you can even be held for negligent entrustment, which means you can be found liable for all actions committed by your car, whether you were in it or not. Please see below. They also don’t explain what happens if you borrow a car, and end up hurting someone or property due to mechanical malfunction of the car itself. In some cases, you’re found liable for driving an inoperable car, even though the owner didn’t maintain it, and in some states the owner is held accountable, even if they argue that the accident was caused by the leasee’s reckless driving. People often cry “mechanical failure” like gas or brake pedal sticking, or delayed response, in court after they hurt someone. Your car will be impounded and inspected. If there are any problems with your car, despite the fact that the leasee was driving recklessly, you can be found criminally negligent. This is another complex stew (see web) and depends on the state. Corporate rental agencies bypass this by renting only from a corporatized fleet and the scads of paperwork you sign when borrowing, which is the result of decades of contract law fine-tuning.

      In any case, these kinds of “use a stranger’s car” set-ups are open season for a person with criminal intentions or misbehavior to rent from you rather than an official rental car fleet where the cars are lo-jacked and the driver’s licenses are linked look-up to police and dmv dbs. The p2p company claims that they look up the renter’s driver’s license to “ensure no one with criminal history is cleared to rent”, but there are many, many cases where people change state driver’s licenses and their criminal history (like probation and DUI) do NOT transfer onto the new record. But don’t take my word for it: http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/do-dui-restricted-licenses-automatically-carry-ove-175825.html

      There is a lot of talk about this issue now, especially in LA. This means you have no real idea, ever, if someone the p2p rental agency has accepted as a leasee is actually clean. Since the p2p rental companies allow you to cross state lines and national borders (like Canada, according to the RelayRides site), you can end up with all kinds of state- or nation-based liability issues that you cannot prepare for as a leasor.

      Important: If someone is drunk and kills or mames someone with your car, then you can be found legally responsible in certain circumstances where the states require you to assess whether someone is UI before getting in your car.

      ALL ABOUT “Negligent Entrustment” and other serious and real issues of liability:

      But don’t take my word for it, from a Law firm: http://gregoryswapp.com/practice-areas/auto-accident-attorney/car-accidents-and-negligence-when-you-are-liable-for-another-person%E2%80%99s-driving/

      “ Gregory & Swapp Attorneys at Law | When You Are Liable for Another Person’s Driving:

      You may be liable for a car accident and be sued for negligence, even if you weren’t driving or in the car. In most car accident cases, the key issue is determining which driver is at fault for the accident. Usually, if one driver is negligent – that is, did not use reasonable care or caution while driving – he or she will be at fault. However, in some situations, the law can assign fault to someone who was not driving or even present in the car at the time of the accident. Although this sounds surprising, there are a number of common situations where this can occur.

      “When You Let Someone Drive Your Car: In some states, car owners are legally responsible for negligent driving by anyone using the owner’s car with the owner’s permission. These state laws don’t require that the parties have a relationship like that of employer-employee. Instead, in states with such laws, once you give someone permission to drive your car, you’re on the hook for their actions.

      “When You Let an Incompetent or Unfit Driver Use Your Car: If you lend your car to an incompetent, reckless, or unfit driver, and that driver, through his or her negligent driving, causes a car accident, you will be liable for injuries and damage resulting from the accident. This is called negligent entrustment. In a negligent entrustment case, the plaintiff (the person bringing the law suit) must prove that the car owner knew, or should have known, that the driver was incompetent at the time that permission was given.

      “When Is a Driver Incompetent, Reckless, or Unfit? : Lending your car to the following types of people can mean you have committed negligent entrustment, and you could be liable for any damages caused by the driver.

      Intoxicated driver. Lending your car to someone who is drunk, or likely to become so, may be negligent entrustment.

      Unlicensed and underage driver. Lending your car to a minor not old enough to legally drive is likely to be negligent entrustment.

      Inexperienced driver. — Letting an inexperienced driver such as a minor with only a learner’s permit drive your car unsupervised is another example of negligent entrustment.

      Elderly driver. Just as someone can be liable for lending a car to a minor, lending a vehicle to someone whose advanced age makes them unfit to drive (for example, an elderly driver with particularly slow reaction times) can constitute negligent entrustment.

      Ill driver. Lending a car to a driver who suffers from an illness that affects his or her driving — for example, a person prone to falling asleep at the wheel — could constitute negligent entrustment.

      Previously reckless driver. You could be liable for negligent entrustment if you lend your car to someone who you know has a history of reckless driving.

      more problems:

      Also of concern is the fact that these cars are picked up on random, privately owned property – like driveways – in many cases. If someone goes to your house, and trips on your driveway, you can be sued. Not of no account are the groups of scammers who troll for opportunities to sue like this. Rental car companies provide their services on corp. property which carries liabilitity insurance, and get sued, literally, all the time. Our uncle is in this business, and our neighbors run the local Hertz, and they say they deal with lawsuits constantly.

      The p2p rental company (GetAround. Relay) claim that if you get a ticket while borrowing the car, you are responsible to pay it. But the truth is that parking violations and other un-manned violations are linked only to the car’s license and registration. There is zero way to enforce this. In fact, there is no way to know that a renter racked up parking violations and expired meter violations until the actual owner of the car goes to renew their registration or gets the citation in the mail – which will be sent to the address of record for the car. You will see a lot of leasees racking up parking violations, and only months later will this be a hassle for the owner, who will have no idea who was responsible, and by law is responsible for the citation – bc the citation follows the car, not the driver.

      Of further concern is the issue of title. In order to be legal and have all the insurance and liability issues stick, the p2p company would have to ensure that the leasor of the car actually owns the title. As far as I can tell, there is no actual check of DMV records for car ownership other than the owners’ “word for it.” note: “RelayRide says: Any vehicle may be enrolled! The only restriction is that the car must be well-maintained, safe to drive, and have power door locks.”

      Relying on people to be “courteous” and “do the right thing” may work in small college hamlets, but it won’t work in an urban context.

      Eventually, I’m curious how they will deal with the lack of a professional business license issued by the municipality for each leasor to effectively be operating their own business out of their home.

      God forbid you actually lend your car out and end up with a serious incident — it’s hard to imagine the referral “business” being in any position to release you of liability, fighting court battles for you to reclaim lost assets due to issues that their supp. insurance argues against paying, or dealing with any myriad of criminal issues that may arise.

      Read the fine print, and know the truth about your liability and the potential red tape around navigating the insurance should something arise — before you lend your car to a complete stranger.

      • http://Web Alex

        You have a very compelling argument and bring to light so many different issues with p2p renting.

        I’m just curious, do you work for a corporate rental agency?

        I’m on your side, p2p renting has so many negative implications, and is far from being solved. If anyone can figure it out, though, it’s an entrepreneur. If there is a solution to all or most of the above, the entrepreneur will find that solution.

        Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed and informative post.

  • http://Web Ultrecht

    You send your car off to a tech school to get it rebuilt because you don’t want to buy a new one or pass it down in poor condition. I assume this will be a young persons trend/mistake. Good way to make the car payments if the car lasts to the end of the loan life.

  • http://Web Yes I would like that.

    Would like to rent a car from someone just for a day. Would pay $15.00 for a day. Have good credentials, and drivers license, and ins.

  • http://carsharing.vabin.org VABIN

    The concept makes a lot of sense for a some people, especially in urban areas. Like everything else, it is not for everyone. But technology and common sense and some practical changes in insurance laws will allay the concerns of many who posted skeptical responses here. Technology is the key to making the process of vetting and tracking drivers and vehicles and making both drivers and owners accountable.

    And if you’re interested in P2P carsharing in Virginia, Maryland, DC, and nearby states, please take our survey at http://carsharing.vabin.org.

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/joborras/ Jo Borras

      Good stuff – thanks for posting the link!

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