July 17, 2014

RelayRides – Peer-to-Peer Car Rentals

RelayRides offers a fresh take on car rentals, giving everyday people a way to earn extra cash by sharing their vehicles with complete strangers. Renters save money, owners make money, and RelayRides handles all the logistical issues, including liability and insurance requirements.

Let’s say you’re traveling to Phoenix for a family vacation next weekend. You could spend hundreds of dollars renting a minivan from a traditional rental agency, or you could log-on to RelayRides and see which vehicles are available during the time when you’re in town. RelayRides verifies your identity before you’re eligible to book any cars. After you’ve been screened, you’re free to scroll through the selection of available vehicles using filters to weed out any cars that are too small or too old to meet your criteria. Each listed vehicle has an availability calendar, and you also have the option to ask the owner specific questions (like how much luggage the trunk can hold). Once you’ve asked to rent the car, the owner has 24 hours to respond with a confirmation. You can then meet the owner at the trip start time, and hit the open road.

From a vehicle owner’s perspective, RelayRides is an easy way to generate revenue from an asset that most people already have sitting in their driveways. In addition to its basic car rental services, RelayRides is also available at selected airports. Travelers can rent their vehicles while they’re away, without worrying about the logistics of handing off keys or meeting renters at any pre-determined times.

Practical Uses:

  • Rent a luxury vehicle at a discounted rate
  • Find a minivan to rent for your next road trip
  • Generate money from a vehicle that’s sitting in your driveway
  • Borrow a car while your current vehicle is in the shop

Insider Tips:

  • Owners must have personal insurance to list their vehicles on RelayRides
  • RelayRides accepts all personal cars model years 1990 and newer
  • Owners receive 75% of the rental price, plus excess mileage charges
  • RelayRides distributes funds three days after a reservation is made

What we liked:

  • RelayRides screens all renters before allowing them to use the service
  • People can earn money by renting their cars while they’re out of town
  • Car owners can control who they rent their vehicles to
  • Renters can purchase additional insurance through RelayRides

What we didn’t like:

  • Airport parking is currently only available at SFO


Company Info:

  • Launched: June 2010
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • Founded by: Shelby Thomas Clark
  • Web site:


  • Owners keep 75% of the rental price


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