Car-sharing apps have changed the car rental world forever and are gaining in popularity. People who don’t own a car find them affordable, convenient, and in some cases a good alternative to owning a car. On the other hand, car owners now have a new way to rent a car when traveling or for fun. Instead of the typical car rental center and their usual fleet of mostly basic vehicles, many car-sharing apps have a huge variety of vehicles to choose from including sports cars, classic cars, and EVs. Also, many apps don’t require any human interaction when picking up the rental because they can be unlocked with the app or a card. On top of that, if you don’t need a car for the whole day, many offer hourly rental rates.
The most common car-sharing companies either own their rentals, use user vehicles for their rental fleet (peer-to-peer car sharing), or both. Signing up is done through the company’s website or app and is usually an easy process. All companies screen their drivers before they can rent, so a drivers license and other personal information is required. If you want to rent your car, all companies require an inspection, and some require hardware installation so the rental can be opened with the app. All companies offer roadside assistance, insurance, and protection plans included in the price or for extra. Keep reading to learn about the best car-sharing apps available today.
Turo is the most popular peer-to-peer car-sharing service and claims to be the world’s largest car-sharing marketplace. The company doesn’t own any of its rentals; it relies on its users’ personal vehicles for its fleet. This means that rental pick-up location are determined by the rental owner and not at a designated Turo location unless you opt for delivery. Also, most Turo rentals can’t be unlocked with the app or a card like other services because Turo Go, the hardware that allows this, is optional and not available in many areas. So drivers need to meet the owner for the key exchange unless a key box is used.
Price: Free to sign up as a driver and free to post your vehicle to rent. If rental owners opt for Turo Go, the hardware installation costs $190 and currently doesn’t have a subscription fee.
Rental rates: Daily rental rates start at about $20 for older and smaller vehicles but can easily top $100 for premium models.
How much rental owners keep: Rental owners keep 65%, 75%, or 85% of the rental rate depending on the vehicle protection plan picked.
Selection: A wide variety of privately owned vehicles, including classic and specialty vehicles.
Mileage limitation: Since it is set by the owner, mileage limitations can range from as little as 100 miles a day to unlimited miles. The normal amount is 200 miles per day, and if you want more you have the option to pay additional for it.
Gas: Not included. Drivers pay for their gas and must return the rental with the same amount.
Rental length: Turo only offers daily rentals; minute and hourly rates are not available.
ZipCar, a subsidiary of Avis, is one of the most popular services on the list and is station based, meaning drivers need to go to a designated ZipCar location to pick up the rental. If you’re approved to drive, ZipCar will mail you a membership card that opens their rentals. No need to meet an employee — just show up to the lot, find the car, and open it with the card. ZipCar is one of the few services that includes gas, but there is a monthly membership fee.
Availability: Drivers can rent through ZipCar in most states and in hundreds of universities throughout the nation.
Rental rates: Rates start at $10 an hour and $82 a day in the Los Angeles area but vary slightly depending on your city.
Price: A membership fee of $7 a month or $70 a year is required to join ZipCar. There is also a one-time $25 application fee. ZipCar also offers Extra Value Plans for drivers who drive a lot.
Selection: A wide selection of vehicles to choose from.
Mileage limitations: 180 miles per day ($0.45/mile after that).
Rental length: By the hour or day.
Getaround is similar to Turo in the sense that it’s a peer-to-peer car-sharing service that doesn’t require a subscription fee for drivers. But with Getaround, all rentals can be unlocked with the app; you don’t have to meet the owner or mess with a key box. This requires rental owners to install hardware and pay a monthly membership fee, but it’s free for drivers.
Availability: Getaround is limited to over 100 U.S. cities.
Price: It’s free for drivers to sign up, but rental owners need to pay a $99 hardware fee and a $20 monthly subscription after 90 days.
Rental rates: Rates start at about $20 a day for smaller and older vehicles but can top $80 for premium models.
How much rental owners keep: Rental owners keep 60% of their rental cost, less than Turo and HyreCar but the same as Maven.
Selection: Like Turo, Getaround has a large selection of privately owned vehicles, but unlike Turo, this does not include classic or specialty vehicles.
Mileage limitations: Drivers are limited to 20 miles an hour and up to 200 miles a day. Additional miles can be added but at a cost.
Gas: Not included. Drivers cover their gas and need to return the rental with the same gas level.
Rental length: Drivers can rent by the hour or day on Getaround.
With Car Share pulling out of North America, Maven is the only one on the list owned by an automotive manufacturer. General Motors owns Maven and because of this, the company only rents out GM vehicles. Also, unlike the others on the list, Maven vehicles are not just company owned but also privately owned because owners of newer GM vehicles can rent their car on the app. Maven vehicles can be unlocked with the app, and the hardware installation is free for rental owners and currently doesn’t require a subscription fee.
Availability: Maven is limited to just Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Toronto. Maven Gig (rentals for ride share and delivery drivers) includes the above cities and San Diego, Washington D.C., and Baltimore.
Price: Free for drivers to sign up and free for rental owners to list.
Rental rates: Maven rates start at $8 an hour but varies depending on the vehicle.
How much rental owners keep: Rental owners keep 60% of the cost of the rental, less than Turo and HyreCar but the same as Getaround.
Selection: Limited to newer GM vehicles only. Rentals can be Maven owned or privately owned.
Mileage limitations: Limited to 180 miles a day. A fee of $0.42 is applied for every mile over.
Gas: Not included. Drivers are responsible for gas and are required to return the rental with the same amount.
Rental length: Drivers can rent by the hour or day.
Enterprise CarShare is unique in the sense that it mostly caters to universities and colleges. It is still available in some cities but mostly in over 100 university and college campuses across America. Like ZipCar, it’s one of the few services that includes gas, but there is a membership fee that varies depending on your Enterprise CarShare location. Rentals can be unlocked with a membership card.
Availability: Enterprise CarShare is mostly located in universities and colleges across many states and in a few select cities (also offered in Canada).
Rental rates: Starting rates vary slightly by city, but for example, hourly rates in New York City start at $8 and daily rates are from $69.
Price: Enterprise charges a small one-time application fee and an annual membership fee. The application and annual membership fees vary by location.
Selection: A diverse selection of vehicles.
Mileage limitations: 200 miles per day (the overage fee varies by city).
Rental length: Can rent by the hour or day.
HyreCar is different from the other car-sharing services because it’s only for rideshare, food, and delivery drivers. Drivers who don’t want to use their own car or who don’t have a car can rent one through HyreCar. Drivers who want to rent for personal use can’t. It’s a peer-to-peer car-sharing service, so all the rentals are privately owned by HyreCar users. Drivers will likely have to meet rental owners for the key exchange because rentals cannot be opened with the app or a card.
Price: Free for drivers to sign up and for rental owners to list.
Rental rates: Rental rates average between $25 and $45 a day. But there are weekly and monthly discounts.
How much rental owners keep: Rental owners pocket 85% of the cost of the rental — that ties Turo’s best plan for the most.
Selection: Like Uber and Getaround, HyreCar has a large selection of privately owned vehicles.
Mileage limitations: Limitations vary because they are set by the owner, but the most common is 250 miles a day.
Gas: Not included. Drivers pay for gas and must replace any gas used.
Rental length: Two-day minimum.
Share Now, the result of the merger between Car2Go and DriveNow car-sharing companies, stopped operating in North America on February 29, 2020, and will focus on its European markets. Car2Go used to be a major player in North America.
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