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While services like Airbnb and HomeAway have cornered the innovative home rental market that is cutting out the middlemen between people with places to rent and people looking to rent, there is an emerging new offshoot sector of this that has plenty of people excited. Peer-to-peer car sharing and other car sharing services appear to be the next big thing when it comes to people and companies independently connecting online to share a resource for a cost. While these services aren’t putting fear into the hearts of the big players like Airbnb is doing to hotels, these grassroots apps and services are starting to catch on in the marketplace. I spoke with JustFly, an online travel agency in based out of North America, to get their understanding of these new services.
An all-in-one marketplace where car owners can connect with car renters to set up meet ups and exchanges, Turo makes it very easy to connect buyers and sellers according to JustFly’s review. Turo’s platform allows for various options including extra options like neutral-site and airport pickups. In terms of insurances, there are various options for renters and sellers to make sure everyone is covered in the event of an accident. With that said, with any service like this it is crucial to carefully review their insurance policies.
Boasting a 60 second turnaround, Getaround is very easy to use service that starts at just $5 an hour for car rentals. Much like Turo, Getaround serves as a marketplace, connecting thousands of drivers. Like Turo, Getaround offers a variety of insurance options, but also pre-screens drivers in an attempt to weed out failed F1 racers and amateur demolition derby drivers.
Car2Go is a little different from the first two services. Car2Go, while a car rental service, does not connect drivers with potential renters, it is simply a service provided by a business that rents out a fleet of vehicles according to JustFly. Probably one of the most successful businesses in the new digital age of car renting, Car2Go allows you to request and rent a vehicle using their app. Unlike the other services, there is a membership fee, but using Car2Go provides you with superior insurance policies. Lastly, and this is pretty awesome, you don’t pay for gas when using Car2Go.
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An example of a hyper-localized car sharing service, Communauto is a car sharing service that serves the city of Montreal primarily, but also serves other small cities in the Canadian province of Quebec. Offering a variety of plans, drop off locations, and no need to purchase gas, Communauto’s fleet of efficient vehicles are all over the city of Montreal.