How Renting Out Your Car Can Fund Your Retirement


RelayRides blogger and personal finance expert, Amanda L. Grossman, shares a member story about how your car can help pave the way to an early retirement.

Have you ever heard or fantasized about early retirement? You know, quitting your day job before reaching the usual retirement age of 65 or so? Even though it sounds like an unreachable fantasy, people have successfully accomplished this.

Take RelayRides member Scott Ullerich, for example, who is on track to retire 8 years early in the not-too-distant future. And guess what? Renting his vehicle through RelayRides is both a part of his strategy to get him into early retirement, as well as a strategy to sustain his retirement.

He shed a bit more light on this in our interview together.

Give Us Your Early Retirement Plan

Scott is currently 56 years old, and is expecting to leave his corporate job as soon as possible. Realistically, he expects to leave by the first part of next year (age 57), and at the latest, by the time he is 58 years old. Early retirement to him means travelling more, and having more free time to enjoy his life, which includes activities like hiking, biking, and scuba diving.

But it also means he has had to think of other ways to develop money streams in support of his early retirement dream. Scott sees RelayRides as a form of passive income, and it is helping him to both save up for early retirement as well as to supplement his future income in retirement years. 

How Much Do You Make Renting with RelayRides?

After seeing an article about the sharing economy, and, “how people were making money by leveraging their current assets,” Scott decided to list his own vehicle and try it out. He’s been renting his 2010 Kia Soul (LAX) with RelayRides now since November 2013.

Currently, he brings in a nice side income stream. Scott explains, “The income has been fairly steady, about $300-$400/month on average.  I’m fortunate to live and work very close to the airport as most of my customers are from out of town.”

What Is Your Rental Income Goal, and How Do You Plan to Achieve it?

Scott’s goal is to bring in $500 per month. This goal is realistic, as he’s run the numbers and knows what he can expect to get from his one rental. Scott brings in about $25/day on his Kia Soul rental, so if he were to rent it out each day for the whole day it would come to about $600 per month.

Scott has three cars now, with the Kia Soul being dedicated completely to renting on RelayRides.

Tips on How to Supplement Your Own Early Retirement Dreams Using RelayRides

Scott has seen great returns from his unused vehicle, and says that his unique car is actually one of the most popular ones in his area right now. In order to stand out from other vehicles, Scott offers extras. For example, he “noticed other people will pick you up at the airport for a fee, and I don’t charge for that. I live close to the airport, and my office is very close. So it’s not a big deal for me. As far as the car itself is concerned, it’s got a sirius satellite radio and people seem to like that a lot.”

A final tip from Scott is to price your car competitively, and even below market price to begin with “in order to generate some business and positive reviews.” Scott explains that once you have those, you can slowly raise your price to a higher level than the competition (as long as you provide good service, a clean car, communicate well, and respond to all requests).

If you are going to be in the LAX area (and especially if you need to be picked up from the airport), be sure to take a spin in Scott’s Kia.