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#1 2012-06-11 03:32:33

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,168
Website

Peer-to-Peer car rentals

Peer-to-peer is all the rage these days.  Basically, it means normal people selling or renting directly to other people, bypassing banks, hotels, stores, etc.

eBay was the original peer-to-peer site, letting people sell their stuff directly to other people, bypassing stores.

LendingClub.com lets borrowers get loans, and investors to fund them, bypassing banks.

Airbnb.com lets people rent rooms and whole homes/apts., directly from homeowners.

And now, GetAround.com lets people rent their vehicles directly to other people.

Car2Go already lets people rent a car easily for very short trips, but it seats only 2 people, can't haul much in the way of cargo, and the price structure isn't practical for longer rental periods.  GetAround.com gets around that (sorry) by letting people rent larger vehicles and for longer periods of time.  (Smaller vehicles and short time periods are also available, for as little as $7/hr., but if that's what you want, Car2Go is more convenient.)

Car ownership is expensive and wasteful, and car-sharing services let people use cars when they really need to without having to own one.  Presumably, if more people used these services instead of buying cars, there would be less driving.  There would also be more space on the streets and in parking lots, since a huge amount of city space is used just to store private automobiles.

Here's GetAround.com's video.

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#2 2012-06-11 22:07:28

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 549

Re: Peer-to-Peer car rentals

MichaelBluejay wrote:

eBay was the original peer-to-peer site, letting people sell their stuff directly to other people, bypassing stores.

To be fair, Usenet preceded eBay by over a decade (anybody remember austin.forsale?  It's still there, but has very little traffic.)
And Craigslist itself beat eBay by a few months.

And Usenet was beaten by the local newspaper classifieds, BBSs, postings on (literal) bulliten boards, etc.

I don't think I'd let strangers rent my car, but it's an interesting concept.  I hope it works.

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#3 2012-11-22 14:16:51

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,168
Website

Re: Peer-to-Peer car rentals

This week the Chronicle has a cover story on Hey Ride, an app that hooks up drivers with people who need a ride (with the riders paying a fee to the driver).  As I suspected would happen, the city shut it down quickly, saying that it was akin to operating a taxi service, and taxis have to be licensed.

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