San Francisco startup, Getaround, embarked on its mission to relieve the world’s car overpopulation problem back in 2009 and it hasn’t slowed down since. Their idea was simple. Take the millions of idle cars people have laying around and offer them to people looking to rent some transportation. Getaround is now available in six cities, the latest being Chicago, which was launched just a few days ago after a partnership was formed with the Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) and the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT).
How it Works
Getaround can be accessed either through their website or mobile app. Users simply provide their credit card and drivers license the first time they rent and Getaround will verify their information in 60 seconds or less. Then it’s off to the car selection screen, which consists of a geolocation map for available vehicles in your area that can be filtered according to price, transmission, vehicle type and rental dates. All rentals include 24 hour roadside assistance and insurance coverage, taking much of the anxiety out of the experience. Rentals can be acquired by the hour or at daily rates, and the mobile app can even be used to unlock the vehicle when you pick it up!
In addition to providing a service for those in search of transportation, it offers those with idle vehicles a way to earn some extra cash by putting them into the available pool of rentals on their network. In exchange for a 40% cut, Getaround will provide a comprehensive $1,000,000 auto insurance policy, 24/7 roadside assistance and driver verifications during each rental so you’re covered in case something goes wrong. Just describe your vehicle, set the dates of availability and pickup instructions for potential renters. Getaround will come pick up your car after you’ve set up the listing and install their Connect app, which allows renters to unlock the car with their mobile phones. This feature also has some side benefits for owners, like providing the whereabouts of your car at all times with GPS tracking, tamper detection and engine locking. After a free 30 day trial, there’s a a one time installation fee of $99 and a monthly charge of $20 for the feature.
Getaround has set its sites on Los Angeles as its next major city, so expect to see them hit the streets there soon. Like the song says, nobody walks in LA. With such a large, spread out geography, commuting is part of the local fabric of this metropolis. Hence, Getaround is sure to receive a warm welcome when it makes its way there.