Is there any way to cut down the cost of owning a car without cutting corners? As a matter of fact, yes!
When you aren't using your car, you can put it to work to make you money through RelayRides. The service allows you to rent out your car by the hour or the day. And, of course, this is also a great option for those who don't own cars. Renting a car from RelayRides could be less expensive than a rental car service. It could be more convenient too, because you'll likely be renting a local car from a nearby neighbor.
Still wary of this too-good-to-be-true method to make money from your car? Here are some tips on how to make RelayRides work for you:
The RelayRides Basics
1. It's free to join RelayRides and to list your car
Unlike other car sharing companies, RelayRides has no membership fees. That makes it easy to simply try it out and see if renting your car could be a good way to make a little cash each month. If your car is model 1990 or newer and its fair market value is up to $50,000, you can list it on RelayRides quickly (the list of ineligible vehicles include passenger vans, motorcycles and vehicles requiring a commercial license).
2. You decide who rents your car
It's perfectly reasonable that you don't want just anyone driving your car. You can accept or decline a request to rent your car. You can view the past feedback left by owners to see if a potential renter has a good rental history with RelayRides. To keep your car safe, RelayRides screens anyone who tries to rent by checking their driving record. If someone has an incident in their driving history, the operations team reviews their record to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements. RelayRides also checks credit cards to screen renters.
3. In the event of a fender bender, your car is covered
Even with the detailed screening process, it's possible that an accident could happen. Fortunately, RelayRides has a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy that protects you against claims from third parties for injuries and property damage. If your car is damaged during a rental, RelayRides will take care of it; they'll get the details, the police report, and file a claim. If your car needs to be repaired, RelayRides will provide you $30 a day for another vehicle or temporary transportation, including another RelayRides car.
Make More Money with RelayRides
If RelayRides sounds like a good option for you, here are a few additional tips to really "sell" your car and make up to $1,000 a month!
1. If your car has OnStar, you'll make more money
The one hurdle in renting out your car through RelayRides is that you need to meet the renter to exchange keys before and after they use your car. It can be inconvenient or challenging to match up two people's schedules — twice. That's why your car will be more likely to be rented if you have OnStar. You can unlock it for the renter with your smartphone or by replying to a text. Simply put, if it's easier to rent your car, you'll have more interest.
2. Set a competitive price to attract renters
Since RelayRides has so many different makes and models of cars available across the country, there are no standard rental rates. It's up to you to set the hourly or daily price for your car. Set your price carefully — if your price is too high, people will rent elsewhere. Consider your location and look at the prices of RelayRides cars available to rent close by. If someone can find a nearby car for half the price, they will likely pass over yours. See what your neighbors are charging, and see if you can offer a better price.
3. Make your car available when people want it
Of course, you still need to use your own car. But try to consolidate your trips to make your car more available during the busiest rental periods. Most people look to rent cars on the evenings or for weekend trips. So if you can get all your grocery shopping and errands done during the week, you could potentially go carless for a weekend and make money from it.
4. "Sell" your car when you list it
Put time into creating your car's "profile." Include several photos, taken during the day. Provide as much info about your car as you can, including how many passengers it seats, if you have GPS, or other relevant info that might appeal to renters. Do you allow pets? Do the seats fold down to help transport larger items? Even something small like seat warmers in the winter can make your car more attractive than another car down the street.
5. Refer your friends
Once you register, you can make more money by referring both car owners and renters. You'll earn $25 if someone lists their car on RelayRides and $10 driving credit if someone rents through the service. Log in to your dashboard for your unique referral link that you can share around though email and social media.