I have a 2017 Hyundai Elantra that I do not drive very often, so after seeing an ad for the Getaround car sharing platform I decided it might be a good option to earn back some money on my unused car. In short, it turns around I was wrong to expect to earn much since after having my car on the platform for a month, there isn’t really much demand in my area to drive someone else’s car. This sort of makes sense since I live in suburb where either you likely already have a car.
Regardless, since I had a chance to try out the platform (and am still on it – check out my car if you want to rent a Hyundai Elantra) I figured it might be helpful for others to review the platform and experience.
I created an account to list my car on Getaround, but then I discovered that my car couldn’t go live until it was “activated”. It actually took a surprisingly long time for anyone to call me, so long I forgot I had signed up. Once someone did call, he qualified me and passed me onto a sales rep. The sales rep walked me through all the logistics around insurance, the app, fees (there’s a $20 fee for the device), tolls and parking. He then scheduled me to have a device installed in my car that tracks the car and can remotely lock/unlock it for renters.
The device installation was pretty simple. Someone came to pick up my car, cleaned it, installed the device and then took pictures. There’s a 24 -holding period before the car goes live and then it’s on the platform.
There is an app for the car owner which basically allows the owner to lock and unlock the car. That’s about it. All actions like setting a price, updating pictures and descriptions, setting a calendar all needs to be done from the website.
The app seems to be a bit glitchy that even when it supposedly has the car locked, the car is not really locked.
During my month on Getaround, I only had one renter. I was informed of the rental by email, text and an app notification. The rental went as I had hoped and was completely seamless. I did not have to meet the renter, and my car was returned in the same condition it was rented in. However, this rental only generated $16 for me – not really worth all the effort.
The concept of renting an unused car to strangers to make extra money seems like an interesting idea, but in practice there may not be product market fit. Oddly, there seem to be more cars than renters or Getaround is just doing something wrong. Also, the technology and experience of Getaround do seem a bit hacky and beta-like so it may be sometime before it all comes together.