5 Myths About Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing

Still on the fence about making money renting your car? RelayRides blogger Amanda L. Grossman dispels 5 myths about peer-to-peer car sharing.

Unless you’ve been living out in the middle of nowhere like that Alaskan Bush family, then you know the sharing economy is blooming with all sorts of earning potential for each of us. Suddenly we’re not having to take on all the costs of purchasing items or maintaining items ourselves; instead we can share with others who rent from us, thus lowering our costs for the item.

It’s a beautiful concept!

In case you are still on the fence about one of the most exciting items to rent via peer-to-peer sites such as RelayRides – your vehicle – I’d like to dispel 5 common myths so that you can get in gear and turn your car into a cash-producing machine.

Myth 1: I Will Lose Control Over Who Drives My Car

Are you afraid that your listing will attract potentially unsafe drivers? The fact is, RelayRides has a stake in who rents out vehicles as well (because of #2 below). So each potential renter is screened before being allowed to rent a vehicle. They must be deemed eligible through the verification and screening of their driving history, and their identification has to be verified before renting your vehicle.

Aside from that, you have complete control over who rents your vehicle. Once a pre-approved renter requests your car, you have 24 hours to either approve or deny the request. No hard feelings, or pressure.

Myth 2: I’m On the Hook for Damages to My Car

I don’t know about you, but if I wasn’t 100% certain that any damages to my vehicle would be taken care of, I would not want to rent either. Fortunately for you, RelayRides includes a $1 million liability insurance policy for the duration of each rental. You, as the car’s owner, need to include the RelayRides rental insurance card in your vehicle, as well as your registration and your personal insurance card.

Rest assured that you are covered for the duration of each rental period on your vehicle.

Myth 3: My Car’s Value Will Depreciate Faster

If you are renting your vehicle, then you probably will increase mileage at a faster rate than you would if you were the only driver. This is true. However, it does not mean your car’s value will depreciate faster.

Many factors besides mileage go into your car’s depreciation, like the type of car you drive, its color, and its service history. Cars typically lose 15-20% in value yearly.  If you’d like a great breakdown of the additional depreciation costs of renting your vehicle, check out this article.  Here are the specifics on depreciation associated with renting your car on RelayRides as well.

Myth 4: Renting My Vehicle Will Take Up a Lot of My Time

When first listing your vehicle for rent, you want to make sure you spend some time on a very thorough description as well as include fantastic photographs from many different angles. Other than that, renting your vehicle and vehicle pickup/dropoff takes very little time. There is an app that allows you to immediately see renter’s requests and approve/deny within minutes of looking at your calendar. You can leave the keys in a safety box at a predetermined place that you let the renter know, and most people are happy to come to you in order to pick up the vehicle.  Pretty great use of a small amount of your time, right?

Myth 5: If Something Happens to Strand the Renter, I Will Have to Pick Them Up

Occasionally drivers get stranded on the side of the road. Perhaps the battery died, or a highway construction site left a sizable nail in your car’s tire. If anything happens during the rental where your driver cannot physically drive away, you do not have to be the one to bail them out. RelayRides provides access to a National Roadside Assistance dispatch service in case of emergencies or issues with the car. They even pick up the tab on the dispatch fee, though any service fees are either the owner of the vehicle’s responsibility (if the breakdown was due to something mechanical within your car), or the renter’s responsibility.

As you can see, there should be no hesitancy on your part to put your car up for rent. It is a safe, and lucrative, way to earn some extra cash. So get to it!