If you have tried to rent a car recently, you may be surprised at the lack of choices and the high prices.
Experts refer to it as “The rental car apocalypse,” and it is not ending anytime soon.
Chip shortages are affecting the rental industry, causing a lack of inventory.
What does this mean for you?
Car rental companies may not have vehicles when you need one and if you can find one, expect to pay much more than usual.
The solution to this quandary is an emerging industry: peer-to-peer car rental.
- Peer-to-Peer Car Rental: What is it?
- Fleet-Based Car Sharing vs. Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing
- How Does Peer-to-Peer Car Rental Work?
- Our Top 8 Peer-to-Peer Car Rental Companies
Peer-to-Peer Car Rental: What is it?
Peer car rental, or car sharing, is a renting model that allows individual car owners to rent out their cars to local people for a specific time.
Owners list their vehicles on a peer rental car platform and get to set their rates and rules.
Potential renters can browse local vehicles and choose which one meets their standards for make, model, price, and availability.
The peer sharing platform provides safe transactions between owners and renters and provides customer support, insurance coverage, and roadside assistance.
Peer to peer car rental differs from a traditional rental car rental company because you rent from local car owners in your area instead of a company that owns a fleet of cars.
Fleet-Based Car Sharing vs. Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing
With P2P car sharing, you rent vehicles directly from a local car owner, and the company that facilitates these transactions doesn’t own any cars.
On the other hand, fleet-based car sharing involves a company that owns a fleet of vehicles they list on a platform.
Each car-sharing business model offers certain advantages and disadvantages; choose the one that aligns more with your preferences.
Fleet rentals often provide well-maintained cars, have more flexible availability, and can be rented by the hour.
You may also feel more comfortable driving a vehicle that doesn’t belong to another person.
Some disadvantages include hidden charges, a lack of airport access, and limited vehicle variety.
P2P rentals are great because they offer more transparent pricing, easy airport access, lower daily rates, and a large inventory.
However, you may not always be able to find the car of your choice, and owners may not maintain some vehicles properly, leaving you stuck with an unclean vehicle that doesn’t run efficiently.
How Does Peer-to-Peer Car Rental Work?
A P2P car sharing service takes a simplistic approach: provide a platform that connects people who need to rent a car and people with cars who want to make extra money.
How Does P2P Work for the Renter?
- Create an account on the P2P website of your choice and upload any required documents, such as a driver’s license and profile photo. You will also need to add a credit card or debit card to your account.
- Search for cars in your area (or the area you will be renting from) and filter by make, model, price, etc.
- Simply book your ride and add an auto insurance plan when you find your car. The platform will charge your card on file, and the owner will send you information about how and where to pick up the vehicle.
- Meet at the correct location and pick up your car at the specified time. Most apps require you to take photos of the inside and outside of the vehicle. Be sure to capture any damages you find, even minor scratches (this is for your benefit).
- When your trip is over, return the car to the pre-arranged destination and photograph the vehicle once again.
- The owner will document any damages (if any) and notify the platform. The platform will charge your card on file if you are responsible for any repairs outside your insurance coverage.
How Does P2P Work for the Owner?
- Create an owner account and provide your location and vehicle information, including photos and odometer readings. Use this car calculator to find out how much you can make.
- You will also need to verify your identity by uploading documents like a driver’s license and providing information like name, address, date of birth, and the last four of your social security number. You may need to have your car inspected before being approved.
- Set your vehicle’s availability by selecting dates and ranges that work for you.
- Create a listing for your vehicle by uploading more photos, writing a description, and listing additional features such as GPS, heated seats, sunroof, etc.
- Decide how to arrange pick-ups and drop-offs by writing instructions for renters, including location, unlocking the car (if you will not be meeting in person), and other noteworthy mentions.
- Before each trip, thoroughly clean the car and document any damages you find after a renter returns the vehicle. If you notice anything that was not there before, such as a chipped window, torn fabric, or dents, notify the platform immediately. Most companies will ensure you get compensated for any repairs.
Our Top 8 Peer-to-Peer Car Rental Companies
The list of peer to peer car rental companies is growing continuously; here are the best options in 2022.
Turo is one of the most popular P2P car rental companies worldwide, operating in 56 countries and over 5,000 cities.
Rent cars in countries like the United States, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
You can go eco-friendly in a hybrid or style out in an exotic car.
Choose from an extensive inventory with flexible rental periods from one day to several weeks or longer.
Turo provides insurance plans, and you can select the option that fits your needs during checkout.
If your plans change, you can cancel your trip for free until 24 hours before your booking.
The average daily rental price on Turo is around $20 to $50 plus sales tax and insurance.
Use Turo Go to lock and unlock the car with your phone.
- User-friendly interface
- 24/7 phone support
- Easy pick-up and drop-off experience
- Insurance savings
- No one-way rentals
- Higher variance in car quality
- Additional charges for small things
Getaround is headquartered in San Francisco and currently operates exclusively in North America in major cities across the United States.
Find everything from a Jeep to a Lexus on this platform with price points that suit most budgets.
Getaround has an easy sign-up process and convenient pick-up options that let you unlock cars with your phone.
In addition, this company offers hourly rates, perfect for those who only need a car for a few hours to run errands.
Their insurance plans cover all drivers and vehicles during an active trip, and they provide 24/7 customer support for any issues.
You can also cancel your trip for free if it starts in more than 24 hours.
Prices start at $5 an hour plus fees.
- Low rental rates
- 24/7 customer support
- Remote car unlock
- Insurance coverage
- Hidden fees
- Mileage caps
- Not available in many areas
Hyrecar is a US-based car sharing service that is now operating in all 50 states.
This platform functions slightly differently and only offers rentals to individuals working gig jobs like Uber or DoorDash.
You can choose how long you want to rent and extend your trip if needed.
Use any delivery app with Hyrecar and seamlessly connect the vehicle information to your gig profile.
Hyrecar will also provide you with commercial insurance in your name.
You must rent a car for at least two days on this platform.
Rates vary, but you can expect to spend around $30 to $45 a day, $200 to $300 a week, or $800 to $1100 a month.
- Work on multiple platforms simultaneously
- Normal wear and tear is included in the price
- Rent a different car every week
- Not the best solution for the long-term
- Insurance does not cover you unless you are actively working
- Additional charges for damages and going over miles
4. Drive mate
Drive Mate is an Australian peer to peer car rental company operating in more than 35 major cities and headquartered in Melbourne.
Drive Mate prides itself in security by offering remote tracking, keyless entry, and 100% verified guests.
This platform offers flexible and convenient rental options with hourly, weekly, and monthly rates.
Every trip is insured, and you can reach customer support any time of the day.
Find cars for as little as $4 an hour or $30 a day and save up to 40% compared to traditional Aussie rental agencies.
- More safety for owners
- 24/7 customer support
- Low rates
- Selection could be better
- Not available in many areas
HiyaCar is a London-based peer car sharing platform that operates in several areas across the UK.
Rent affordable cars by the hour or the day and enjoy safe, clean transportation around the city.
HiyaCar covers every trip with comprehensive insurance and roadside assistance.
You can feel safe knowing that every driver on the platform goes through seven layers of verification, including facial recognition.
Rent a car for as low as $3 an hour.
- Safety is a priority
- High cleanliness standards
- Limited locations and variety
- The app is somewhat confusing
JustShareIt is a peer-to-peer car-sharing company operating in several major cities in the United States.
Rent an owner’s personal car in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, Chicago, Miami, and Portland.
Find vehicles in select cities for as little as $10 an hour or $35 a day.
Drive everything from a Subaru to a Maserati ($550 a day).
This platform is excellent for those wanting to book a car for a couple of hours around the city.
- Competitive hourly rates
- Easy sign-up process
- Limited locations
- Not a lot of information is available
Headquartered in Utrecht, The Netherlands, SnappCar is a car rental agency growing in popularity.
From vans to Teslas that you can rent by the day or the hour, there is an option that suits every taste and budget.
Every trip is insured and comes with roadside assistance.
You can also feel safe knowing that SnappCar thoroughly screens every user before booking.
Rent a SnappCar for as little as $5 an hour.
- 24/7 customer support
- Roadside assistance and insurance
- Low rates
- Large variety
- High fees
- Limited coverage area
RentMyRide is a South African peer to peer car rental service that connects owners and renters across the country.
Enjoy a large variety of vehicles from VW to Mercedes to Audi.
The low rates make it a compelling choice for visitors to the area, and RentMyRie takes safety seriously.
This platform covers you with comprehensive insurance, roadside assistance, and cars that must meet age and safety standards.
Rent vehicles as low as $20 a day or as high as $70 a day.
- Low rates
- Insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance
- A large variety of vehicles
- Limited availability
These are the most common questions people have about P2P car sharing.
Are there risks in choosing an option outside of traditional car rental companies?
There are some risks involved with selecting a peer car rental over a traditional car rental company.
Classic car rental agencies may charge more, but they require more rigid standards for their vehicles.
P2P companies don’t have a strict maintenance threshold for vehicle owners.
Cars on these platforms can be up to 12 years old and may not always be in tip-top shape.
How far in advance should I book a car rental?
It’s best to book a P2P car as soon as you know you need it.
If you wait until the last minute, you may not get the vehicle you want or will have to find another option altogether.
Plus, most owners prefer you book in advance as it’s easier for them to coordinate schedules.
Should I add car insurance?
If you choose to decline insurance protection to save a few bucks, you may be left holding a hefty bill if something goes wrong.
Even something as small as a chipped windshield can cost hundreds of dollars.
Are you interested in peer-to-peer car rental?
Check out these top 8 choices for this growing industry.
Whether you want to rent a hatchback to run a few errands or you need a tesla for a weekend getaway, P2P car rental provides affordable and convenient options.