Car owners get into the rental business for extra cash

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If you travel across country and need a car, you automatically think of renting one of the major rental companies.

Now, you have another option from an unexpected source. It's called peer-to-peer car sharing, where private individuals rent out their vehicles to make extra money.

Nikki and Nathan Goodson of Kansas City now offer to rent out their 2001 Volkswagen Jetta.

"We're not using our car that much. It would be great, instead of having it sit in the garage just accumulating dust, have it earning some income," Nikki Goodson explained.

Peer to peer car sharing began a couple of years ago in larger cities like San Francisco, started by companies like Relay Rides and Getaround.

Consumers in need of a car can search websites to see what's available. Nearly 20 cars are available to rent around the Kansas City metro.

Consumers can pick the car they like. The price is listed usually by the hour, day, week and even month in some cases.

A portion of what you pay, around 40 percent, covers insurance as well as taxes and fees to the local city.  The car owner collects the rest.  

"What we've done is we've created a market-leading insurance policy," Steve Webb of Relay Rides said. "We cover owners for up to a million dollars. "

Webb said the company also carefully prescreens all drivers by checking their driving history.

Chris Snyder of Kansas City rented a privately owned car during a recent trip to San Francisco.

"It was a little mini convertible. We had a blast just driving, riding over there… I was sold," Snyder said. 

Now, he offers to rent out his SUV for nine dollars an hour or $45 a day. 

"This is another revenue stream for me potentially," he said. 

Relay Rides said car owners can average $250 a month renting out their car.  It's up to the car owner to accept or decline an offer to rent.

"Our demographic is shifting from being young early adopters to a broader segment of society, people in their 30's and 40's even 50's," Webb said.

Both Snyder and the Goodsons have had several offers to rent. They had to decline for various reasons such as time conflicts with when the customer needed to rent the car.

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