Unlike Zipcar and other fleets of shared vehicles, a few companies such as Spride Share, RelayRides and Getaround are taking car-sharing to the next level. They allow people to share their OWN cars, and get paid for it too (potentially $2000 per year for 10 hrs/week, according to Spride). All of these companies seem to be in start-up stage, so it’s unclear WHERE the cars will be available.
That’s certainly a good way to increase the car-share-pool, but I think it’s going to be a pretty big hurdle to get people to trust their cars with strangers. Cars are like our babies; they have needs and they’re expensive when they get a boo-boo. First, all the FAQs indicate that the car owner is not responsible for renters’ (mis)use. For example, Spride Share’s FAQ says “Because we provide insurance for the period during which your car is used by others, your own insurance carrier has no additional exposure.” Additionally, the state of California has addressed other worries thanks to Assembly Bill 1871 which passed on June 3, 2010. “This bill makes clear that personal vehicle sharing does not constitute a commercial use of the vehicle. The bill also makes sure that the individual car owner is not held liable for losses that arise when the vehicle is used for personal vehicle sharing. … AB 1871 will now moves to the State Senate for consideration.”
Even with assurance of insurance, I will still have an emotional struggle to offer my car for communal use. But if it actually puts several grand in my pocket, then that might convince me. I wonder if this would encourage people to buy another car just for the sole purpose of car-sharing-for-profit.