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TIPS Offset Your Car Payments by Renting it Out! Scam or Legit?

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Kanvi

Moderator
Staff member
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240
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#1
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I bought my first brand-new car a few years back. That new car smell was pretty sweet, and it was awesome having a paint job that was just one color. What wasn’t awesome were my monthly car payments. I had no trouble with my payments for the first few years. But with my other expenses getting higher, it became harder and harder to make those monthly payments.

I didn’t want to risk having my car repossessed, so I did something drastic: I rented out my car. I found a bunch of companies online, such as GetAround and JustShareIt that let you do this. I wasn’t so sure about this in the beginning, but I actually made good money this way. My usual customers were travelers who didn’t want to deal with major car rentals.

It got to the point where the rental money was covering my car payments! At times, the money I made exceeded my monthly payments.

If you want to earn good money renting out your car, read on! I’ll be providing some useful tips, as well as recommending some rental platforms you can try out.

The “Sharing Economy”

Renting your car to strangers seems like a new idea, but it’s actually part of a bigger movement called the “sharing economy.” Basically, the sharing economy encourages exchanges between private individuals. But don’t let the term “sharing” mislead you. Most of these exchanges involve money and are for profit.

A number of apps function as the middleman and facilitate the deal between people. These apps also function as a sort of gatekeeper, making people deal with each other respectfully. In the case of car-renting, they can veto members. If a member has a bad rep, they can get banned from the service.

It’s a proven business model… and a lucrative one, too. Companies like Uber and Airbnb are part of this movement.

How to Start

First, head over to any of the sites listed below, then apply to become a member renting out a vehicle. Be prepared to provide proof of ownership (usually registration or deed of sale), as well as various info about your car, such as make, model, and year.

Most companies will have a model cut-off for cars. This means if your car is older than the specified age, you can’t rent it out. It may seem snobbish and annoying, but don’t take it personally. Companies simply do this to maintain a good driving experience for renters.

For obvious reasons, these companies will also require your car to be properly maintained. These are general guidelines; the specifics change from company to company. So check first and see if your car is eligible.

Set Your Own Schedule

One of the great things about this setup is that you can set your own schedule. This means that you’re don’t have to deprive yourself of using your vehicle. You can simply make your car available during days off, or days when you don’t actually need your car. Since you wouldn’t actually use your car during those times, you lose nothing!

Overview

Most companies provide these benefits and features:
  • Free Listing.
  • Flexible pricing schemes. You can set the rental price of your vehicle, and can charge hourly, daily, weekly, and even monthly rates.
  • You can accept or veto rental requests.
  • $1 million insurance coverage per rental.
  • Companies usually charge a 25% commission from your list price.
  • Background checks for both renters and car owners.
  • The company facilitates payment between you and the renter. No haggling, or reminding the client to pay you.
Consider these items a baseline when picking a company to work with. And on that note, here’s a list of companies you can try.

Companies You Can Try

Turo
Link: Link: https://turo.com (Receive $25 in travel credits with this link)
iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/app/relayrides/id555063314?mt=8&ls=1
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.relayrides.android.relayrides

I recommend you try Turo first. Their services are available in over 4,500 cities in the US, so there’s a big chance you’ll be eligible to rent out your car through the site.

The company was founded in 2009, and is one of the pioneers in the scene.

GetAround
Link: https://www.getaround.com (Receive $20 in credits with this link)
iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/getaround-instant-car-rental/id412017926?mt=8
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.getaround.android

GetAround launched their on-demand car-sharing business in 2013. They’re one of the upstarts in the scene, but they’re pretty legit. (They even count Ashton Kutcher as an investor)

JustShareIt
Link: https://www.justshareit.com
iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/justshareit-mobile-key/id545886928?ls=1&mt=8

JustShareIt tries to provide a premium experience to both users and car owners. It prides itself on its top-notch experience for everyone who uses their service. The app is no longer available for Android, so take note.

Earning Potential

How much you can earn will depend on the make and model of your car (the fancier the car, the more you can charge) and location. Naturally, car owners living near airports can charge more for the convenience and easy access.

Turo says their average car owner earns $720 per month. Owners of three or more cars can make over $3,000 per month.

During the times I tested all three companies (not just Turo), I made around $600 a month. A bit lower than average, but I only made my car available for about four hours a day. So that reduced my potential clients. But I’m actually pleased with that amount. I started renting out my car to offset my car payments, and I definitely achieved that!

The Verdict: Legit or Scam?

All these sites are legit! They provide a great opportunity to earn a bit of money by renting out your car. On good months, I actually exceeded my monthly car payments! If you’re looking to offset your car payments, give this a try!

Your Turn

This review is based on my own experiences renting out my car on Turo, GetAround, and JustShareIt. Now it’s your turn to share. Have you also rented out your car? Which sites did you use, and how much did you earn?

Let’s hear your stories!
 

June

Well-known member
82
52
0
#3
My husband tried out Turo to help offset his car payments. This was when money was a bit tight for us because we just had a new baby. He basically listed it in the Turo website for free along with some high-res photos to show its condition, make, and other details. He also had to fill out a schedule to indicate when his car was free to book for potential clients. If he had seen this review before he signed up, we could have taken advantage of the travel credits you shared...but that’s all good and dandy :)

The “guests” he had were generally well-mannered and polite so he typically confirmed most of the notifications that came in. There were some, though, that really tried his patience. Some showed up at their designated time and place for the meetup very late, while others made so much of a mess inside the car that you’d think they’d partied in it! I didn’t think it was any of the company’s fault because sometimes you really can’t control who uses the platform. It’s a good thing there’s a rate and reviewing feature on the app for feedback on abusive users.

At any rate, he seemed to be satisfied with his experience with the company. He liked the entire “local hospitality drive” and that it’s one of the first of its kind to even offer something like this. I think it’s great that there are options like this for when people need some extra source of income using whatever resources they have (in our case, my hubby’s car!).
 

Holden

Well-known member
100
33
0
#4
Hey Kanvi, thanks for the post on private car rental.

Also, SANTACLOWN: these apps aren’t for ride-sharing. Users actually put their cars up for rental. It’s like the super Uber… or the über-Uber.

My partner and I decided to use Getaround when we started having difficulty keeping up with payments for our Jeep Wrangler. We chose Getaround because we liked their insurance policy (your car is covered for up to 1 million dollars, I think) first and foremost. My partner and I are pretty OC about our stuff, and we were kind of hesitant to put our vehicle up for rent. But that insurance kind of helped put us at ease.

Once thing to keep in mind, though, is that weekends are usually peak times for rentals… which happened to be the time we used our Jeeps for grocery trips and heading out to the nature reserve about two hours away. So we did have to sacrifice some of our personal use of the car to earn maximum money.

This means that you will have to compromise a bit on getting to use your car, since the best times to make it available will most likely also be the times when you’d want to use it. But no regrets here; the earnings on Getaround were a big boost to our finances. It’s better to not have the car for a few weekends than have it repossessed because we couldn’t pay for it!
 

NickBlaine

Well-known member
83
42
0
#5
[QUOTE="
Also, SANTACLOWN: these apps aren’t for ride-sharing. Users actually put their cars up for rental. It’s like the super Uber… or the über-Uber.
![/QUOTE]

Hey Holden. In fairness to SANTACLOWN, Kanvi did mention the concept of sharing economy and featured Uber as an example :)

Anyhoo, I want to share my own experiences with trying to offset my car payments by renting my vehicle as a host. It wasn’t a walk in the park all the time, unfortunately.
  • Constant communication is important. Some of the people who rented the car conveniently forgot to disclose certain pertinent details, such as having a DUI ticket or including their dog in the trip.
  • Discuss all the mileage involved during the contract. Don’t trust rounded off numbers or vague references to a “long-ish trip” (actual words used by a former guest) because they will be responsible for all the fees associated with extra mileage not initially agreed upon.
  • Insist on punctuality. This is not just to show respect for each others’ time, but it also means honoring the coverage involved in your contract. Also, it just sucks overall being made to wait for someone who just wants to rent your car.
  • Take pictures of the car’s condition before and after renting it out. I’ve had several incidents like what June mentioned above. We’re talking ants taking over behind the back seat due to plenty of crumbs I neglected to see when the car was returned to me!
  • Demand for reimbursement for any damage or overtime (or other incidents) that occurred during the trip. That is what the list of fees and fines from the company is there for.
Overall I wouldn’t say it was a bad experience renting my car out, but sometimes you can’t avoid getting people who aren’t as respectful about others’ things as you would want them to be. Still, it wasn’t such a bad way to make some extra income.
 
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