Getaround is a social car sharing service that allows regular car owners to rent out their cars to other people. Getaround focuses more on hourly rentals and 1-2 day rentals compared to Turo that generally focuses on longer term rentals, from a few days to a week. Getaround competes with Turo as a social car sharing rental platform and also with Zipcar as an hourly car rental service. Getaround is a mixture of Zipcar and Turo.
Below is Getaround’s description:
Social car sharing: Rent cars by the hour from people around you. Start renting out yours today and earn cash.
Getaround works well in cities that have high cost of car ownership or cities that do not have sufficient parking in residential areas. The high cost of car ownership prevents people from owning cars and forcing them to use public transportation, Uber/Lyft, or car rentals. Getaround is targeting hourly rentals and competes with Zipcar. Getaround hourly rates are a fraction of the hourly rates on Zipcar, but Getaround doesn’t offer free gas.
Getaround uses a device called Connect that can locate the vehicle and remotely lock/unlock the car. The Connect Device relies on cellular and GPS signals in order to function so if the car is underground, the car may not be unlocked with the Connect Device. I have an outdoor parking spot so this isn’t a concern for me. This device allows for renters to rent a car without the owner being present, which is great for owners who don’t have the time to meet every single renter, especially when they are at work.
The downside of the Connect device is that it needs to be hard-wired to the car and costs $20 a month as a subscription fee and a $99 installation fee. Car owners cannot have a car listed on Getaround without this connect device.
How Do Drivers List Their Car on Getaround?
Signing up for Getaround is easy. You go to their website and sign up as a renter first. You will need to use your Facebook account to signup and log into Getaround, which I don’t personally like, especially with the recent privacy issues surrounding Facebook.
Once you sign up as a renter, you can go into the Cars tab and click List a car. You will have to fill out some information about the car though the various menus. Once you finished, you will have to schedule a time for your car to be picked up by Getaround to have the Connect device installed. The installation process should only take two days, but some owners have stated that it took weeks for them to get their car back. If you are constantly renting out your car on Turo, block off a week for the Connect installation.
What Are the Owner Settings on Getaround?
The types of settings available to Getaround car owners varies from market to market. Here are all the settings you can change:
- Hourly and Daily Rates (varies by market)
- Availability (via calendar)
- Car Features
- Car Location
Why Car Owners Should Avoid Listing on Getaround
Below are the various reasons why car owners should avoid listing on Getaround:
- The mileage limit is set for 20 miles an hour or 200 miles per day
- When I list the car on Turo, my mileage limit is only 100 per day. I price my cars competitively and I can profit at 100 miles per day. However, I can’t break even at 200 miles per day. The hourly mileage limit is 20 miles so if a renter books for 10 hours, they can drive 200 miles. 10 hours on Getaround is close to the daily price, but it is typically about 80% of the daily rate, so I lose money if a renter decides to drive up to the mileage limits.
- Car Owners cannot change the mileage limit. I spoke to the local Boston Getaround representative and Getaround seems to be committed to 200 miles per day.
- Mileage overage fee is set to 30 cents a mile paid to car owners
- When renters exceed their mileage allowance, Getaround pays car owners 30 cents for every mile over the limit. My calculations show that the total cost of ownership for my car is right around 32 cents per mile with gas, or about 27 cents per mile without gas. This means that I barely break on the mileage overage fees. Consider that I have a 6 year old car, the 30 cents per mile fee would create huge loses for someone with a new car.
- Car owners cannot change the mileage reimbursement rates.
- This is probably the most important figure to look at for Getaround. Most cars 2012 and newer have real costs that exceed 30 cents per mile so if a renter drives your car 600 miles in a day, you’ll be losing money for every mile they drive over the limit. Combine this fact to low daily rates and car owners will be setting themselves up for financial ruin.
- In some markets, owners cannot change hourly/daily rental rates
- In most markets, owners have a choice of manually setting hourly/daily rates or having the price automatically adjusted by Getaround. The automatic pricing on Getaround tends to be lower than what you may expect to increase the number of rentals a month. In Boston, owners cannot adjust pricing so we have to accept any reservation.
- For my car in Boston, my hourly rate is about $5. The mileage limit is 20 miles an hour so equates to about 25 cents per mile. This is a monetary loss for me. Almost all of the renters have came close to the 200 mile limit and my average earnings is somewhere around 20 cents per mile on Getaround. The Boston rep for Getaround claims that owners average $1 per mile, which I believe is a giant lie.
- All reservations are instant book (15 minute advance notice) and cannot cancel reservations online
- The Connect device allows any renter to pick up the car at any time, which is great for some owners. However, this means that you will need to take some pictures of car almost everyday to ensure that you have pictures before the rental. Damage claims may be denied if there is insufficient proof that a given renter damaged your car. Getaround seems to be more lenient than Turo on damage claims since Getaround knows that owners may not be able to take pictures before every trip.
- There is no option to cancel a booked reservation through the Getaround website. Car owners need to contact support via phone or email to have trips cancelled. This situation rarely happens unless the owner didn’t block off the times in the calendar or blocks the wrong time on the calendar.
- The Connect Device requires it hard-wired to the car
- The Connect device locks and unlocks doors so it needs to be hardwired into the car. This means that an outside vendor will need to cut into your wiring to install it. I personally don’t like cutting into wires, especially in car since it may cause other electrical issues
- When the car was brought in to install the Connect device, my airbag light went on after the car was returned. Getaround denies that they caused it so I had to pay out of pocket to fix it, even though the error came up during the time they had the vehicle. If something is damaged during the installation, Getaround will deny they have anything to do with it and the car owner would be responsible to fix it.
- If Getaround offers free installation, you need to keep your car listed for 6 months
- When I signed up, Getaround offered free installation. I thought that there would be nothing to lose so I signed up. With the above issues, I am ready to take the device off of the car. If I were to do that today, Getaround would charge me for the installation. I would need to keep my car listed for 6 months before they are willing to remove the Connect device.
The only good thing about Getaround is the Connect device. It makes it much easier for car owners to rent out their car without being present for pickup and dropoff. Car owners still need to see the car before or after the rental to inspect for physical damage to the vehicle. However, every rental I had was a financial loss for me so I rather have the car sitting doing nothing than renting it out. I didn’t finance my cars so I don’t have loan payments to make. I don’t need my revenue to be at a certain level so I rather not earn money than earn a little money while depreciating my car.
I used to think that any rental is better than no rental but after calculating the numbers for my Getaround rentals, no rental is better than any rental on Getaround. I can’t recommend anyone sign up for Getaround. It is much better to have your car parked than having it listed on Getaround. There is very little monetary incentive for anyone to rent their cars on Turo. In some markets, Getaround have promotions that may be lucrative but without it, avoid Getaround at all costs.
My little Getaround experiment is finished and I’m sticking with Turo from now on.
What are your experience with Getaround?
There seems to be plenty of people listing their cars on Getaround so it must be profitable for some people. What are your experiences? Do a lot of renters reach the mileage limits?Have more questions about Uber or Lyft? Head on over to our Rideshare Driver Training Course! Driver Promotions