NYT In Transit Blog: P2P Carsharing Market in Bay Area

The New York Times blogger, Sean O'Neill, wrote a quick summary of the competition that is heating up in the Bay Area.  Three companies are vying for the new person-to-person carsharing market there.

As part of a team in Pittsburgh that is going to market with a variation of this person-to-person model, I find it hard to believe that 200 vehicles are already available.  RelayRides arrived from Boston in December and currently has nine vehicles listed on its website, while the other competitors, Getaround and Spride Share, were first allowed to insure vehicles after the law went into effect in January.  Regardless, if you live in San Francisco, I would be very interested in hearing more details from the market on advertising, marketing, and vehicle availability.

Below is the blog post by Sean O'Neill,

Three San Francisco start-ups are hoping to persuade car owners to rent their vehicles to locals and out-of-town visitors. The three companies — GetaroundRelayRides and Spride Share — recently launched online services in the Bay Area to help car owners profit from their vehicles when not using them, while allowing drivers to book the cars at rates potentially lower than what major rental companies charge.
The idea was made possible by California’s new auto-insurance laws, which went into effect in January. Car owners may now rent out their vehicles without concern that an accident claim might affect their personal insurance policies. Under the new laws, vehicle and driver are fully covered by the policies of a car-sharing service during a rental.
In the Bay Area, the three online exchanges are collectively listing about 200 vehicles. The typical compact car rents for about $45 a day, including insurance, though rates vary and are usually quoted by the hour or by the day.
Each company is developing smartphone apps that will provide keyless entry. In the meantime, only Getaround offers the option of the renter and car owner meeting to swap keys. The other two companies provide keyless entry to vehicles, which requires that participants mail an electronic fob (SprideShare) or a smart card (RelayRides) to first-time renters.
In April, London-based WhipCar were the first to offer peer-to-peer car sharing. Today, holders of British driver’s licenses may choose from among 1,000 vehicles to rent. Since June, RelayRides has run a trial in Boston, with about 50 vehicles.
Link to original from NYT In Transit blog. 

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