A Win-Win for P2P Car Sharing

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January 12, 2011; Source: Talking Points Memo | A San Francisco Bay-area nonprofit, City CarShare is partnering with Spride, a provider of personal vehicle sharing services, to offer individuals the “green” opportunity to loan out their cars. The partnership gives City CarShare’s 13,000 already-vetted San Francisco members who want to rent their cars access to the new car sharing service.

A recent change to California’s law will make it possible for individuals to rent out their cars commercially but keep their insurance.

Though a lot of car owners may be hesitant to hand over their keys to strangers, technologies in use by companies like ZipCar will help overcome people’s concerns about lead feet or tailgaters behind the wheel.

Besides it’s not a bad deal for those willing to share. Spride Share estimates that a sedan rented 20 hours a week can earn the owner about $2,850 a year. Car sharing also reduces traffic, parking headaches, and pollution. A win-win, no?

Maybe you won’t get rich renting out your Prius to a P2P car share program, but you will feel good that you’ve done good. Apparently there are many who feel this way. According to Frost & Sullivan research, in two years, national car sharing membership grew 117 percent, and is predicted to total 4.4 million members in North America by 2016.—Aaron Lester