Remember FlightCar? It was a San Francisco-based start-up that solicited air travelers to rent out their cars from the airport while they were out of town, giving them free parking and a share of the rental revenue. It had 12 airport locations (and several fans among TravelSkills readers) before it went out of business last year. Another company called RelayRides is out of the airport business, but still working in the car sharing/renting space as Turo.com
Now another company is offering a similar concept, and it’s already available for Los Angeles and San Francisco travelers with locations near both airports.
The new operator is called TravelCar, and it’s not really a start-up; it’s a five-year-old company based in France and has 30 locations there. It refers to itself as a ”peer to peer car sharing platform.”
Customers can use the TravelCar lots simply as an airport parking alternative, paying market rates (e.g. $13 a day at SFO), or they can agree to let the company rent out their vehicle while they’re away, at prices lower than major rental companies (around $30 a day), and take a share of the revenue. (That’s how you get “free” parking.)
The company provides insurance for owners’ cars while they are rented, and it sells insurance to renters with various levels of coverage for $9 to $22 a day.
On the rental side, let’s say you were flying into LAX in mid August and needed a car. TravelCar lists seven types of cars available that day, and a Toyota Prius is going for just $37 per day plus tax for a total of $41.
Not bad considering a one day rental from Alamo prices out at a hefty $67 when you include all taxes and fees.
Readers: Would you rent out your car to a stranger through a company like this in order to cut your airport parking costs? Would you rent someone else’s car to save? Please leave your comments below.
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