Getaround offers carsharing with a twist
Silicon Valley startup Getaround offers a carsharing service with a twist. Unlike companies like Zipcar, which owns the vehicles that are available for use by its members, Getaround is a peer-to-peer-based service that works like this: car owners agree to put their autos up for rent on an hourly, daily or even a weekly basis. The vehicle owners set the rental rates and Getaround simply pairs up what it calls the “buyers” with the “sellers.”
In addition, Getaround provides insurance for the vehicles and equips each auto with a remotely-operated unlocking system, ensuring that “buyers” and “sellers” never have to meet face-to-face to exchange keys. For its work, Getaround collects 30 percent of rental fees, which can vary from $4 per hour for a basic compact model to $10 per hour for a Toyota Prius and currently tops out at $25 per hour for a Tesla Roadster. Since launching last month, nearly 1,000 people have joined Getaround. One of the first to get in on the peer-to-peer action was Jessica Scorpio, a co-founder of the company, and she shares her Tesla Roadster with other Getaround members.