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There Is A New Sheriff In Town – Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing

There is a new sheriff in town! Car sharing! Did you know you can rent out your car to make some extra money? I am not talking about opening your own car rental agency, but if you have a car that is sitting in the garage and is not in use then you have the opportunity to make some extra cash. I am not talking about opening a Taxi service either. You need a specific license in most states to do that.

Those which are trying to save money or are unemployed have a new way to make some extra cash! You can rent out your car for short periods of time. Some Car Sharing Peer-to Peercompanies such as RelayRides and Getaround have seen the open market for those who are not using their vehicles and would like to make some extra money. What the companies do is match car renters with car owners. This is going on in Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, Miami, Fl and other major cities across the nation. Another big firm which is helping others across the United States is Zipcar. If you want to rent out your car then you may want to get in touch with any of the mentioned companies.

If you are someone who needs a car the great thing about Zipcar is most anyone can get a vehicle to fit their needs. They can use it as an alternative to the hassles and expenses of owning or renting a car. If you live in an area where public transportation is not good, then Zipcar is a great alternative.

What are the benefits of not owning a car?

  • You want to save money. According to the website members report saving more than $500 compared to car ownership.

  • Public transportation is okay, but you may need a car. If you have car then you can go where you need to go.

  • No hassle of owning a car. Think of all the time you have to wash, clean, and take care of the car. With Zipcar you don’t.

  • Sometimes you might need a second car? You may have someone else using your car and you need a car for a couple of hours or for the day.

  • You might want to impress someone with a nice looking car. In some areas you can get a BMW or other luxury vehicle.

What about those that are going to rent their automobile?

There are pros and cons, however, if you have car “sitting in the garage” then the cons may outweigh the pros. The first thing to make sure of, is if you are protected when “renting” your vehicle? If you participate in car-sharing programs you are putting yourself at risk. If someone else is going to drive your car there is additional risk. If you allow someone to drive your car that is not on the policy there is a chance your own assets are at risk. It would be important to tell your car insurance company what you are going to do with your vehicle so you do not have higher car insurance rates. Other factors to consider, if you “rent” your vehicle you may have to pay more in cheap car insurance rates. You want to weigh the monetary benefits before taking the risk.

Never “Rent” Your Vehicle Without Proper Coverage

As a car owner you want to be sure you have proper cover to protect you in theCar Sharing in the City event the “renter” gets into an accident. Your own personal car policy is not going to provide sufficient coverage. If you are going to consider “sharing” your vehicle then you may want to ask about a commercial policy to be sure you are fully protected with a peer-to-peer car sharing program. You want to find out the additional cost of the policy to be sure extra cash-flow would off-set the additional insurance expense.

Although, car sharing services are in high demand many of them, such as RelayRides, Getaround, and Zipcar state the owners of the vehicle should not be concerned if they rent their automobiles. One such example, RelayRides is offering owners free full comprehensive and collision cover up to the actual cash value of the vehicle with no deductible. As good as it may sound, it is wise to consult with your auto insurance company to be sure you are protected in the event a “renter” gets into a car accident.

RelayRides and Getaround offers one million dollars in liability insurance which “will” protect the owners against claims for third-party injuries and property damage. Again, as good as it sounds you want to consult with your insurance company to be sure you are protected from litigation or claims.

There are downsides to taking the risk for car owners to make extra money. Some insurance companies such as Allstate and USAA have stated they may decline to renew a vehicle owner’s policy if they participate in “car-sharing” activities. The good news some states, such as the State of California, have passed a law prohibiting insurance companies from not renewing auto insurance policies for vehicle owners which participate in “car-sharing” programs.

As a car owner you never want to assume you are protected. It is always wise to check with your current insurer to be sure you are protected. If you are going to participate in “car-sharing” programs the best thing to do is be transparent and let the insurer know what you plan on doing. It is difficult for some to make a little extra money in tough economic times. On the other hand, you do not want to make matters worse by being uninsured when participating in peer-to-peer programs. Not only legal expenses can rise, your auto insurance quotes are going to rise too.

Before you decide to rent to someone nearby make sure you are protected.

Greg Fowler

Greg Fowler

Managing Member of AutoInsureSavings LLC, Greg enjoys writing articles to help drivers save on anything related to automobiles. Travel and enjoying the outdoors are some of his hobbies. The best way to reach him is at his Twitter or Facebook Profile.

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