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Making Money Renting Your Car: The 411 on Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing

car costs

If you are like the majority of Americans, you’re probably a little freaked out about the prospect of shelling out upwards of $4 per gallon at the gas pump this summer. Throw in the steep costs of other car-related expenses, such as insurance, repairs, maintenance, registration and parking, and it’s safe to say that having a car is hard on the pocketbook.

Put Your Idle Ride to Work

But for the 63 percent of us who say that the rising cost of gas have caused them some degree of financial hardship, help is on the way—car owners can now make hundreds of dollars per month on average by renting their idle ride to others around them through a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplaces. And since the average car sits idle 90 percent of the time, it’s really like turning your set of wheels into your own personal ATM, but with a lot more horsepower.

Thrifty car owners can recoup some of the costs of owning a vehicle—at the very least—and in many cases actually make a profit, depending on the location and availability of the car.

How Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Works

The way peer-to-peer car sharing works is simple—owners with a vehicle that is not being used at times can register their car in an online marketplace, where approved drivers can rent them at hourly, daily and even weekly rates. Owners pick the times their car is available and set their own price. Only pre-approved drivers can rent cars, and every time the vehicle is rented, it is covered by the company’s insurance policy.

While on the subject of insurance, it should be stressed just how safe these marketplaces are. Not only are owners protected by an insurance policy during the duration of the rental, but car-sharing companies typically run driving record checks and have fraud detection measures in place to make sure that the person renting your car is who they say they are and is a good driver.

Plus, two-way rating systems are in place where owners and renters are graded by their peers, adding another layer of checks, making sure that only the best owners and renters participate in these marketplaces.

 Selling Vs. Renting

Many folks are finding that peer-to-peer car sharing is actually proving to be a bit of a financial windfall.

Many owners of the only national car-sharing service, RelayRides, for example, are pleasantly surprised by just how much they can earn through the service. RelayRides member Curtis Chong has made over $5,300 since enrolling his 2006 Honda Civic in RelayRides about nine months ago. “Kelley Blue Book had my Civic listed for about $4,800,” said Chong. “Renting my car to RelayRides members has earned me over $5,300, which basically means I get a free car.”

A good number of people with unwanted cars are also finding that they can actually make more money over time putting their vehicles in a peer-to-peer marketplace than they would by just selling their used car for a one-time lump sum.  Not only can you make more money than you would by selling, but you will be able to hang on to your old ride for the occasional road trip down memory lane!

Others who find themselves with an extra set of wheels because a son or daughter has gone away to college, or because a spouse is leaving home for a lengthy business trip, find that peer-to-peer car sharing is the perfect way to make extra money.

Making Green Off Going Green

Getting involved in a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace has other great benefits as well. For example, peer-to-peer car sharing has amazing environmental, land use and transportation benefits, including lowering the number of vehicles on the road, reducing both traffic and vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases.

Sound good to you? Start making cash from your car by signing up for a car-sharing service, such as at www.relayrides.com now.

Shelby Clark is the founder of RelayRides—the world’s first online marketplace that allows you to rent cars from people near you across the United States. Car owners earn on average $250 per month from their idle vehicles, and renters can barrow for as little at $5 per hour. Learn more about how folks are saving and earning money and get regular updates on RelayRides at our blog: http://blog.relayrides.com/