If you’re looking for a way to make some extra money, you might be thinking about renting out your car through a peer-to-peer (P2P) app like Getaround, Turo, or HyreCar. Like other P2P companies that connect people with a product or service to people looking for one, these let you rent your car out — by the hour or day, depending on the company — to people who find you through the platform.
But renting your car out on these platforms can also be risky. Some people who’ve listed their cars have reported having them damaged, stolen, or used by someone to commit a crime. Even if the company has policies for dealing with these types of situations, they can take a lot of time and money to resolve.
So if you’re deciding whether to list your car on a P2P app, here are a few things to think about:
- The general location of your car will be available to the public. People who book your car will get more specific information about where it’ll be parked. And if you keep your keys inside — so people can use them once they make a reservation — your car could be a target for theft.
- Safety features can be helpful but aren’t foolproof. Companies might recommend things to help prevent theft or misuse of your car — like lockboxes for your keys, software that lets the company immobilize your car’s engine remotely, or the ability to lock or unlock car doors via the app. But there are no guarantees, and many of these features need the car to be within cell range to work.
- Insurance can be complicated and might not cover everything. Look into what you’re responsible for if something goes wrong. Often companies’ insurance will only cover active trips, so if your car is damaged or stolen between bookings — even if you think it may have been targeted by someone on the app — you could be on the hook for repairs.
If you’ve had a bad experience renting your car out through a P2P app, tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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I would definitely check with my car ins company before considering this.
Insurance companies rate premiums based on drivers’ records. Where garaged, credit history. Not smart renting out your car. More risk than monetary reward.