Innovation That Matters

Person-to-person car-sharing service

Mobility & Transport

Much the way NeighborGoods lets consumers save and earn money by sharing tools, ladders and other household equipment, so RelayRides enables them to do likewise with their underused cars. Serving as a sort of community-run Zipcar, RelayRides bills itself as the first person-to-person car-sharing marketplace. Launching soon in the Baltimore area, the site allows people with cars to earn money by renting them out to people who don’t have cars of their own. Car owners begin by registering with RelayRides, which then arranges for a certified mechanic to install a device in the car that will allow authorized renters to access it without having to be given keys. It also establishes an insurance policy to cover renters during the rental period. Next, owners set the car’s rental price, along with where the car will be rented and when it is usually available. Renters can then reserve the vehicle by the hour or day within the owner-set schedule. RelayRides screens the driving record of every renter; it also promises to take care of owners in the event of any loss. A renter rating system, meanwhile, lets owners provide their own evaluations. With suggested hourly rates of between USD 6 and USD 12—covering 20 miles per reserved hour or 160 miles per day along with gas and insurance—owners can earn as much as USD 8,000 per year by renting out their cars for just 20 hours a week, RelayRides says. Every shared car replaces 14 to 18 vehicles on the road, RelayRides says, so the benefits are obvious not just for renters and owners (a.k.a. sellsumers), but also for the planet, which gets a much-needed break. RelayRides is already planning to expand to other U.S. cities following its Baltimore launch—one to get in on early in your neck of the resource-sharing woods…? (Related: Parking operator launches car-sharing serviceBike-sharing comes to AsiaMore social ride sharing.) Spotted by: Michael Corrales



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