Share Your Car With Your Neighbors?

Sharing has been in the news a lot recently. Last week I told you how to share household items with your neighbors and a month ago I shared about U.S. bike-sharing services cropping up. Will 2011 be the year of shared resources?

Another one-of-kind program has just launched that allows neighbors to share their cars. RelayRides allows you to charge money to nearby people who want to borrow you car, or you can pay as low as $6 per hour to rent a neighbor’s car.

RelayRides founder Shelby Clark told the Boston Globe he thinks sharing is increasing.

“I think there’s a real trend of people rejecting ownership in favor of access,” Clark said. “You look at things like Netflix, RentTheRunway, Zipcar, or various textbook rental programs. You get the benefits of ownership without the hassle and cost.”

The program is now available in Boston and San Francisco, with plans to add many more cities in 2011. Potential members must fill out a five-minute application, and hold a valid driver’s licence and a good driving record. In case of an accident, there is a $1 million insurance policy included in which users must pay a $500 deductable.

While the Wall Street Journal question if users would really want to share their car with strangers, RelayRides has been getting glowing reviews by users.

“It’s the same as using a rental car and as long as people are respectful with my car, I feel really comfortable letting people use it,” said car-owner Anthony Burdi. He lets neighbors borrow his 2009 Prius while he isn’t using it.

The RelayRides system can earn car-owners thousands of dollars per week while their car is borrowed and returned during unused hours. The cost ends up 10% cheaper for borrows than with other car-sharing companies and car-borrowers can save $400 a month over owning a car.

By using existing cars the company is not buying more cars and parking spots, intended reduce city car congestion.

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Photo by AndYaDontStop on Flickr


Kimberlee W.
Kimberlee W7 years ago

It's a shame that a few neighbors can't get together and purchase a "2nd car". I can't see where ANY insurance company would go for this.
I wouldn't mind at all if no one minds my smoking with all the windows open.

Novinha L.
.7 years ago

Thanks for the article :) sounds like a great idea!

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H.7 years ago

I don't think I would hand over the keys to my car to someone I never met before. We are talking about neighbors here though. If I met the person, was able to get to know them a little, and all legal bases were covered no problem. I only need a vehicle to take my kids to and from school and for medical reasons. My car right now needs repairs that would amount to well over $1000 in an auto shop. I have all the parts. I am not from around here so I don't know any back yard mechanics. Trail Blazers and care2 members- How do I find individuals in my general area that could help me out? I would much rather pay a hard working neighbor a few $100 bills to fix my car than to hand over money I don't have to some greedy corporate auto shop. :(

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman7 years ago

Interesting thanx.

Michelle Theve
Michelle Mullis7 years ago

My neighbor shared her car with me and it was great! I helped with gas and repairs, oil changes, etc. I don't require a car but every so often for grocery trips and such. I would definitely participate in this program if it were in my state!

David N.
David N7 years ago

Thanks for the article. Interesting.

Danuta W.
Danuta W7 years ago

This is great article

Colin Hope
Colin Hope7 years ago


Ann G.
Ann G7 years ago

I think this poll is somewhat flawed because, while I would be hesitant to share my car with someone I didn't know, if I had a neighbor who I had known for a while, then I might be willing to share the car with them.

Allison Killion
Allison Killion7 years ago