New ride-sharing service turns your car into a rental car

CHICAGO -- There’s a new ride-sharing company in Chicago that lets you rent your car out when you’re not using it.

Getaround is like Airbnb, but for your car. Through peer-to-peer car sharing, car owners can rent out their cars for an hourly rate.

“I rarely use a vehicle- if I do it’s on the weekends or in the evening once or twice a month, so it’s really convenient for me to have a car and have it used by other people who need to use it when I’m not,” said Aaron Terry.

Terry he said he works a normal 9 to 5 job and doesn’t always need his vehicle. So when he’s not using it, he rents it out.

Here’s how it works: drivers pay $99 and Getaround installs equipment in their vehicle that makes it a “connected” car, so users can unlock them with their cell phone. Owners can choose when to make their car available and set the hourly rate. On average in Chicago they’re making about $250/month.

“It pays for all of my vehicle expenses and then some,” Terry said.

The Shared-Use Mobility Center in Chicago is currently conducting a pilot project with grant money to test how Getaround’s peer-to-peer car sharing can benefit underserved communities.

“With this pilot with Getaround we’re testing out the idea of peer-to-peer car sharing in lower income and lower density areas like suburbs,” said Shared-Use’s Executive Director Sharon Feigon.

“It’s about providing access and making sure the benefits of car sharing are available to all,” she said.

There are currently more than 200 owners who use Getaround to rent out their vehicles in Chicago and 20,000 users. They pay about $7.50 an hour to rent a vehicle, and are automatically insured by Getaround while they’re driving.

“We have great public transit in Chicago, we have Uber and Lyft for one-way trips; Getaround is a third piece of that puzzle to allow people to live in Chicago without cars,” said Brian Pogrund, Getaround City Manager.

Getaround and other shared-use transportation were highlighted in Chicago during mobility center’s 2nd annual Shared Use Mobility Summit, including everything from public transit to the latest technology in bike sharing and car sharing.

More information on how to rent a vehicle (with a $25 promo code) and how to sign up are available online.