Renting a car in a large city can get very expensive, particularly if you just need it for a few hours. And nobody wants to wait in line at the rental agency, fill out endless paperwork and then hunt through a giant lot of cars for the right one.
New car-sharing services are cropping up throughout the United States, to help people overcome these issues. One example is RelayRides.com, a service that lets people rent cars from private local car owners (even neighbors!) – with 150 cars available in San Francisco and Boston. The car service starts at $5 an hour and includes gas and insurance coverage. To use Relay Rides, you must first become a member (this is free!). This way, they can check everyone’s driving history, ensuring the cars are safe. They send members a Relay Pass that lets them get into the rented car, and each car has a gas card inside so you can fill up. If you want to take a day trip or use the car all day, you can get a day-long rental starting at $55, which includes up to 160 miles of travel. And there isn’t much you can do to incur extra fees, as long as you treat the car with respect and return it on time. Relay Rides cars are all covered by their $1,000,000 insurance, too – leaving you with only a $500 deductible should anything happen. These cars are owned by people just like you and me, and are located in neighborhoods throughout their cities. This is also a great way for car owners who don’t use their cars every day to make a few bucks too.
Another company that’s embracing the car-sharing business model is JollyWheels.com, which has 88 locations across the United States. They combine peer-to-peer car sharing with a traditional rental structure. Their rentals range between $40 and $100 per day, depending on location and make/model of the car. The more expensive rentals are generally vans and sport utility vehicles, but prices do fluctuate quite a bit depending on which city you’re in.
So next time you’re in the market for a rental car, consider one of these services. If you plan ahead, you could save a pretty penny!