Peer-to-peer carsharing

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Peer-to-peer carsharing (also known as person-to-person carsharing and peer-to-peer car rental) is the process whereby existing car owners make their vehicles available for others to rent for short periods of time.

The concept[edit]

Peer-to-peer carsharing is a form of person-to-person lending or collaborative consumption, as part of the sharing economy. The business model is closely aligned with traditional car clubs such as Streetcar or Zipcar (est. in 2000),[1] but replaces a typical fleet with a ‘virtual’ fleet made up of vehicles from participating owners.[2] With peer-to-peer carsharing, participating car owners are able to charge a fee to rent out their vehicles when they are not using them (cars are driven only 8% percent of the time on average).[3]

Participating renters can access nearby and affordable vehicles and pay only for the time they need to use them.[4][5] In 2011, an American research company Frost & Sullivan calculated that an average Getaround renter saved over $1,800 per year by using a car sharing service over owning a car for the same number of miles driven.[6] In 2014, the United States House Committee on Small Business stated that “buyers pay less than they would without the service, and sellers earn more--if only because they often would not be able to bring their service to market without the peer-to-peer platform.”[7]

Businesses within this sector screen participants (both owners and renters) and offer a technical platform, usually in the form of a website and mobile app, that brings these parties together, manages rental bookings and collects payment. Businesses take between 25% and 40% of the total income, which covers borrower/renter insurance, operating expenses, and roadside assistance.[2]

As with person-to-person lending, the Internet and the adoption of location-based services as well as the spread of mobile techology have contributed to the growth of peer-to-peer carsharing.[8]

Enabling Legislation[edit]

Although many personal auto insurers in the U.S. exclude coverage for commercial use of insured vehicles either through a livery and public transportation exclusion or a specific "personal vehicle sharing program" exclusion,[9] In 2011, California was the first U.S. state to pass Assembly Bill 1871, which allowed private car sharing.[10] Several other states in the U.S. have passed legislation allowing individuals to share their cars without risk of losing their personal car insurance. These include California, Oregon, Washington, and Maryland.[11]


In the U.S., New York is the only state that does not allow peer to peer car rental because the owner cannot exclude him or herself from liability to a renter.[citation needed]

Ecological impact[edit]

Peer-to-peer car sharing has the potential to reduce the number of vehicles on the road and lower pollution levels.[12]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Berger, Suzanne (2013). Making in America: From Innovation to Market. MIT Press. p. 191. ISBN 9780262019910 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b "Online Rental Markets Are Thriving". Yale School of Management. December 8, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  3. ^ Pozin, Ilya (July 19, 2012). "10 Greatest Industry-Disrupting Startups of 2012". Forbes. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  4. ^ Gansky, Lisa (2010). The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing. Penguin. p. 146. ISBN 9781101464618 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Karmann, Markus (2011). The Rise of Collaborative Consumption on the Example of Couchsurfing. GRIN Verlag. p. 5. ISBN 9783656189190 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "GetAround Connects Car Owners And Renters With P2P Marketplace". Business Insider. June 7, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  7. ^ "The Power of Connection: Peer-to-peer Businesses". United States House Committee on Small Business. January 15, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  8. ^ Ostrofsky, Marc (2013). Word of Mouse: 101+ Trends in How We Buy, Sell, Live, Learn, Work, and Play. Simon and Schuster. p. 113. ISBN 9781451668421 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ International Risk Management Institute - Personal Vehicle Sharing Program Exclusion Endorsement
  10. ^ Whittaker, Richard (March 15, 2013). "SideCar to City: Have App, Will Travel ... to Court". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  11. ^ Elliott, Christopher (October 13, 2018). "The War Between Car Sharing And Rental Companies Just Escalated. Here's Why You Should Care". Forbes. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  12. ^ Solar Today. Solar Today. American Solar Energy Society. 2002. p. 77 – via Google Books.