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getaround peer-to-peer carsharing

Getaround is Working Towards a Modernization of Insurance Framework to Allow Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing in New York

Apr 16, 2017

Currently operating in New Jersey and looking to expand to New York State, Getaround’s Founder recently discussed this peer-to-peer carsharing service on Talk 1300. Like the Airbnb for cars, Getaround is a peer-to-peer carsharing service providing individuals with the ability to rent cars from people nearby by the hour or the day. Here, we are summarizing the discussion and noting the most important points of this groundbreaking service.

Getaround versus Traditional Car Rentals

As opposed to traditional car rentals that can be pricey and restrictive, Getaround allows you to rent vehicles nearby for as little as $5/hour, including car insurance. Getaround also has an environmental benefit of taking cars off the road, as renters are those who do not own their own personal vehicles.

Additional revenue for car owners

Getaround also enables and empowers car owners to safely share their cars with renters nearby, bringing a new revenue steam to car owners while offering an easier option for those looking to rent by the hour or by the day. According to Getaround’s Founder, Jessica Scorpio, a personal vehicle would not have to be rented out that much in order to pay for itself, and many owners are having success by just renting out their vehicles when they would otherwise be parked.

While the average cost of owning a car is over $8,000 per year, Getaround allows owners to earn over $800 a month renting through their service.

Getaround for the Consumer

Benefits for the consumers to use Getaround as opposed to other carsharing services include:

  • Low prices starting at $5/hour including insurance
  • Instant credit card and driver’s licence verification
  • Choose from 1000s of vehicles nearby
  • No joining or membership fees

Getaround in New York

Getaround is currently stepping up advocacy for legislation that would allow it (and other peer-to-peer carsharing services) to purchase group insurance policies, and thereby be able to operate in New York.

“New York is the only state in the country that does not allow car-sharing, this needs to change,” Sen. James L. Seward, R-Otsego County, said in a statement provided by the company. “Car-sharing will allow New Yorkers to meet their daily transportation needs without having to own a car, saving them thousands of dollars per year. This is good for local residents, the environment and our state economy.”

Since New York is currently the only state in the U.S. that doesn’t allow Getaround, the company’s advocacy actions have included the creation of a minute-long, pro-carsharing radio ad (listen below) as well as postcards being sent to lawmakers showing the fact that more than 10,000 New Yorkers are already signed up to use Getaround – if and when it becomes available.

A lot of people wonder: will peer-to-peer car sharing add any additional benefits to cities that already have a lot of car sharing services such as Vancouver? 

Here’s what we think:

  • Peer-to-peer car sharing complements existing car sharing because it increases the supply of vehicles, making car sharing more convenient for the car-free population. 
  • Peer-to-peer car sharing works with similar technology: just like regular car sharing, most peer-to-peer car sharing providers offer apps to book and unlock vehicles. This increases the convenience for both members and owners. 
  • Peer-to-peer car sharing is not yet allowed in British Columbia by the current insurance framework. 

We will be patiently waiting to see if Getaround is successful with their advocacy efforts to get into New York State.


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