If you’ve ever rented a car, you know how frustrating and antiquated the business model of renting is. You get off a plane, head to a rental car counter, and spend the next hour sorting through paperwork and arguing with the representative about whether or not you need to buy additional insurance. It’s 2019 and there has to be a better way. Fortunately, there is.

Airbnb for cars is here, and it’s changing everything about the way people travel, drive, and get around new cities. Here’s what you need to know.

 

Why Airbnb for cars? Where car rental companies fail

Car rental companies like Avis, for example, have massive fleets with hundreds of cars. They also earn billions of dollars in revenue each year. Yet, they leave something to be desired. These Goliaths of the rental car industry are forgetting the single thing that’s most important to customers right now: they want personalized, scalable service that doesn’t make a big hullabaloo of car rentals. Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities. That’s where peer-to-peer car sharing companies come in. Designed to be ‘Airbnb for cars’, these companies challenge the old-school business models of car rental and take a hint from the sharing economy. The result is striking. Instead of jumping through hoops when attempting to rent cars, customers get the one-on-one service that comes from dealing with another person.

Airbnb for cars is a much more customized experience than the traditional model. In a process that is a bit like online dating, customers scroll through an app until they find the car they want. Once they find it, they deal directly with the owner of said car to hammer out a deal and arrange the payment.

This approach has become popular among people who need cars for short-term use. For example, a customer who wants to rent a pickup truck to do some yard work. It’s a preferred choice for people who want to buck the costs of car ownership altogether. This makes sense, given that the price of a new car in the U.S. is now well above $33,000. This number doesn’t even take into account additional costs like maintenance, gas, repairs, or insurance.

car rental assistant stands at the counter giving information to customer who is interested in renting a vehicle

Today, car-sharing companies seek to make driving a more equitable experience for everyone. People who own cars that they don’t drive all the time can rent them out and earn extra money. People who need a car to drive but don’t own one can grab one for a day or a week, without the trappings of a traditional rental experience. It’s a win-win for everyone.

 

Airbnb for cars in major U.S. cities

Are you currently traveling and wondering where you can find one of these handy ‘Airbnb for cars’ services? There are a few main options to choose from.

Turo

Turo is a one-to-one car rental service that books cars from local hosts throughout the U.S. and around the world. A simple service that exists in more than 5,500 cities and boasts more than 850 makes and models of cars, Turo has cars that suit every need and every budget. The cars cost about 35% less than traditional rental car agencies, and the accessibility is hard to beat. Turo is available in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Denver, Houston, San Diego, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Montreal and Toronto. 

Getaround

Getaround is another Airbnb for cars type of service that specializes in offering high-quality cars from people in cities around the U.S. Rentals are either hourly or daily, and insurance is always included. Rates begin at $5 an hour, and the platform is home to thousands of cars.

a happy couple sitting in a convertible with the top down driving down a cement road next to a large body of water with mountains ahead

Available in San Francisco and Boston, Getaround’s service area is somewhat limited, but it’s still a great option for anyone who wants an affordable car and a simple method of renting it.

 

Using Airbnb for cars

If you’re staying in a driving city like Los Angeles for example, Airbnb for cars is a great idea. Simply open one of the apps listed above and find the service that works best for you. Transportation will be a breeze. All that is left to do now is find an equally-flexible place to live. Blueground provides apartments in the most sought after neighborhoods. Every single one is fully-furnished, beautifully decorated, and ready to live in for as long as you need. In addition, Blueground has flexible lease terms to suit your lifestyle, should you want to switch apartments and explore some other areas in the same city.

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