Competition in the nascent market for person-to-person car rentals is heating up. The latest entrant regionally says it can help any car owner in the Northwest temporarily rent their wheels to a friend or stranger.
San Francisco-based RelayRides is open for business nationwide, effective immediately. The company claims it pioneered the peer-to-peer or personal car sharing model in the U.S. The idea is to let you rent your car by the hour, day or week to someone else when you're not using it.
RelayRides founder Shelby Clark says he takes a commission to cover insurance and operate the website.
"Our marketplace model makes it so we don't have to have local operations," he says. "You can almost think of every car owner as a mini fleet manager who is tending to their one specific car."
RelayRides is the second peer-to-peer car sharing company to expand to the Northwest. A competitor called Getaround is already established in Portland and just last week announced plans to expand to Washington state.
A third California company called JustShareIt has expressed interest in brokering rentals not just of private cars, but also motorcycles, boats and snowmobiles.
On the Web:
"Wash. Legislature Paves Road For Personal Car Rental" March 1, 2012:
"Portland Has New Option For Car Sharing" Feb. 22, 2012:
"Companies Help You Rent Your Car To Others" June 6, 2011:
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network