RelayRides is a peer-to-peer car rental sharing service where private car-owners can rent out their vehicles on a short-term basis. Now General Motors OnStar subscribers will be able to rent out their vehicles for a few extra dollars per month. Owners of OnStar-capable GM cars can lease their cars without having to install hardware or meet up with the renters to hand over their keys. Instead renters will be able to unlock and operate the vehicle using a smartphone app or by responding to a text message.
An OnStar spokeswoman said that RelayRides vehicles make an average of over $250 in monthly revenue and in some cases make around $10,000 per year depending on how much business they provide.
OnStar strategy and VP of new business development Nick Pudar pushed to make RelayRides a cheaper transportation option. “Our exclusive relationship with RelayRides provides an exciting new choice: the first automobiles to run on collaborative consumption,” said Pudar.
RelayRides lets you set the price for your car based on age, mileage, and size. The minimum hourly rate is $5 and the maximum is $50. Each shared car supposedly leads to up to 13 fewer cars on the road, which should be great for the environment. RelayRides started in Boston around June 2010 and then launched nationwide from there. Vehicle owners are given a $1 million insurance policy for the duration of the rental and a $300,000 policy for the borrowers.
If you do not have an OnStar-enabled vehicle, you can still join the RelayRides marketplace, but you will have to meet the renter in person to exchange keys.