Getaround is a new peer-to-peer car rental start-up that lets people offer their own vehicles for rent, including luxury exotics. Insurance is provided by the San Francisco-based company, and renters are responsible for gas. Its business model is similar to Google-backed RelayRides, but the company requires members to use Facebook Connect for sign-up and rental.
To rent a car, members use Getaround's Web site or its iPhone app to locate a vehicle and request permission to rent it. For better or worse, the request is subject to the vehicle owner's approval. Getaround installs a device in vehicles that enables members to access the rental through the iPhone app. Renters who don't have an iPhone will have to arrange a physical key swap with the car owner. The company is working on apps for other mobile devices.
Getaround is currently still in beta testing of its product, which appears to only be offered in San Francisco at the moment, although the company Web site indicates it will roll out the service in other areas. And there are a few kinks that still need to be worked out. I wasn't able to sign up using Facebook Connect despite repeated attempts. Of course, the publicity generated by the affordable Tesla rental may have swamped the fledgling site.
And with any good deal there is often a catch--the $25 per hour rate is a special for the month of January. You must be at least 30 years old, rent for a minimum of two hours, and have a clean driving record to rent the electric sports car. The current promotion is being offered by a Getaround member in San Francisco, but co-founder Jessica Scorpio says the company is working with Tesla to make its electric vehicles available on an ongoing basis, according to an article in Good.
A partnership between Tesla and Getaround would be an easy way to get the public to try new vehicle technology. The only question I have is, will you be required to return the Tesla with a full battery?
(Via Gas 2.0)