If you haven’t been driving much lately, you may be thinking about how much your car is costing you as it sits in your driveway. The good news is that you can make money renting out your car, just as you would renting out your home on AirBnB or a similar platform. Here’s what you need to know.
4 Top Companies That Will Rent Out Your Car
There are several car sharing companies through which you can rent out your car when you’re not using it.
1. Avail Car Sharing
Avail is a service that rents cars at airports across the country. They cater to people who are traveling and would otherwise leave their car at the airport for the duration of their trip. You drop your car off at the airport and they list it on their app. When someone wants to rent your car, they pick it up at the airport, and return it back there when they’re done.
Avail indicates you can earn ‘up to $25 a day’ renting your car and indicates that the average earnings for a four day rental is $80.
Avail Plus is for those who are traveling for a month or more. If you list your car on Avail Plus for at least 30 consecutive days, you’ll get a $400 bonus, regardless of how many days the car is actually rented.
Avail has a long list of eligibility requirements your car must meet if you want to share it. Your vehicle must:
- Be a model year 2011 or newer
- Have fewer than 125,000 miles
- Have an automatic transmission and be gas powered
- Have a current, valid registration in the glove compartment
- Have a clean title.
- Be valued at under $100,000
- Have no open recalls
- Seat fewer than 10 people
There are other requirements as well. Check the Avail website for the complete list.
How To Rent Your Car Through HyreCar
- You need to comply with the requirements that Uber and Lyft have for cars, including things like age and size of the vehicle and physical condition. As part of the sign-up process of HyreCar, they ask for Uber/Lyft inspection documents, along with your registration and pictures of your car.
- Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be notified when someone wants to rent your car. Confirm the application as soon as possible, since some drivers will apply for multiple vehicles and just take the one they can get first. You’ll need to be the first to confirm in order to get the booking.
- Check the documents, including your registration and vehicle inspection documents. Make sure the insurance document on your HyreCar dashboard is correct before you give the keys to the renter.
- Arrange a pick up location with the renter. Be sure to verify their license, check the mileage and the amount of fuel you have, and hand over the keys.
- When the rental period is over, arrange a pickup time and location. Check the condition of the vehicle, mileage and fuel when you take back the keys.
Keep in mind that some Lyft and Uber drivers can put a lot of miles on a car. If you choose to rent through HyreCar, you should be prepared to see your odometer go up quickly.
Getaround bills itself as a ‘car sharing marketplace,’ and promotes using your own car or even purchasing one or more cars to run your own car sharing business.
If you have two or more cars on Getaround, they assign you a Fleet Business Manager to help you manage your business.
Getaround provides the technology to connect with drivers, charge for rentals and arrange drop off and pick up. They also offer a device that lets renters unlock your vehicle with their phone, eliminating the need to physically hand off keys.
Turos bills itself as ‘the world’s largest car sharing marketplace. Like Getaround, Turo encourages car owners to build a business around renting their cars.
Turo says that the average annual income generated by renting one car is $10,516. For those who rent five cars the average annual income is $52,579. According to AAA, the average cost of car ownership in 2020 was $9,500 so your profit on renting one car through Turo for a year would be slightly over $1,000.
Pros and Cons to Renting
There are advantages and disadvantages to renting out your car. Here are some of them.
- The money. If you’re going to have a car anyway, renting it out will generate more money than having it sit in the driveway.
- Cars like to be driven. If your car sits too long without being driven, you can face a host of problems, from flat tires and a dead battery to rust and cracked belts and hoses.
- Easy drop off and pick up. Using a rental company like the ones listed above means you don’t have to vet the drivers, and often makes drop off and pick up easier.
- Offset wear and tear. Some companies, like Getaround, have daily mileage limits so you’ll earn more if your car is driven further, offsetting some of your wear and tear costs.
- Wear and tear on the vehicle. Renting out your car will rack up the miles so you need to be sure to keep up with the maintenance.
- People are messy. Even if the company you rent through offers cleaning, you may still find your car is messier when you get it back than it was when you rented it out.
- Not everyone drives carefully. Accidents happen, and, even though all of these rental companies provide insurance against accidents while your car is being rented, having to get your car repaired is an inconvenience.
- There’s always a risk that your car won’t come back. While the rental companies vet the renters, there is always the possibility that someone won’t return your car. Again, insurance will replace your vehicle if this happens, but it is a possibility.
- If you need your car in an emergency, it may not be there. If you’re going to rent out your only vehicle (or all of them), you’ll want to have a backup plan in place.
Jennifer Pillari of Lafayette, Colorado, sums up the pros and cons of renting your car. “I rent out both of my cars on Turo and have for over a year,” she said. “I had often used Turo for car rentals when I traveled, and when I bought a Tesla Model 3 and also kept my gasoline-fueled car, an older, high-mileage Mercedes E350, I decided to rent them both out, rotating their availability.
It has mostly been a decent source of passive income, but there are also many downsides that have made me weigh the pros and cons of continuing to rent them out, such as the wear and tear on the vehicles, maintenance costs associated with accumulated mileage, dealing with disrespectful customers, navigating claims of damage through Turo and challenges that seem to pop up with letting someone else drive my vehicle, particularly the Tesla, which is prone to intermittent issues.”
How Much Money Can You Make Renting Your Car?
As with many other gigs, the answer is, it depends. The type of vehicle you have, the number of days you’re willing to rent it out, and the company you use can all factor into the decision.
To give you an idea, Jennifer Pillari rents her two vehicles through Turo. In the first four months of 2021, she earned a total of $7300 in passive income.
The Bottom Line
Renting out a car you rarely use can be a good source of passive income and can help to offset that monthly car payment that never seems to go away. Just be sure you are okay with the additional mileage and wear and tear on the car, and that you have another plan in the event of an emergency.