Peer-to-peer carsharing (also known as person-to-person carsharing and peer-to-peer car rental) is the process whereby existing car owners make their vehicles available for others to rent for short periods of time.

The concept

Peer-to-peer carsharing is a form of person-to-person lending or collaborative consumption, as part of the sharing economy.[1] The business model is closely aligned with traditional car clubs such as Streetcar or Zipcar (est. in 2000),[2] but replaces a typical fleet with a ‘virtual’ fleet made up of vehicles from participating owners.[3] With peer-to-peer carsharing, participating car owners are able to charge a fee to rent out their vehicles when they are not using them (cars are driven only 8% percent of the time on average).[4]

Participating renters can access nearby and affordable vehicles and pay only for the time they need to use them.[5][6] In 2011, an American research company Frost & Sullivan calculated that an average Getaround renter saved over $1,800 per year by using a car-sharing service over owning a car for the same number of miles driven.[7] In 2014, the United States House Committee on Small Business stated that “buyers pay less than they would without the service, and sellers earn more--if only because they often would not be able to bring their service to market without the peer-to-peer platform.”[8]

Businesses within this sector screen participants (both owners and renters) and offer a technical platform, usually in the form of a website and mobile app, that brings these parties together, manages rental bookings and collects payment.[9] Businesses take between 25% and 40% of the total income, which covers borrower/renter insurance, operating expenses, and roadside assistance.[3] In return they provide roadside assistance, customer service and vets renters with DMV checks.[9]

As with person-to-person lending, the Internet and the adoption of location-based services as well as the spread of mobile technology have contributed to the growth of peer-to-peer carsharing.[10] Also, millennials are less attracted to car ownership as previous generations.[11]

Enabling legislation

Although many personal auto insurers in the U.S. exclude coverage for commercial use of insured vehicles either through a livery and public transportation exclusion or a specific "personal vehicle sharing program" exclusion,[12] In 2011, California was the first U.S. state to pass Assembly Bill 1871, which allowed private car sharing.[13] Several other states in the U.S. have passed legislation allowing individuals to share their cars without risk of losing their personal car insurance. These include California, Oregon[14], Washington, Maryland,[15] and Colorado.[16]


In the U.S., New York is the only state that does not allow peer-to-peer car rental because the owner cannot exclude him or herself from liability to a renter.[citation needed]

Ecological impact

Peer-to-peer car sharing has the potential to reduce the number of vehicles on the road and lower pollution levels.[17]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Fishman, Elliot, ed. (2019). The Sharing Economy and the Relevance for Transport. Academic Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-12-816210-1 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Berger, Suzanne (2013). Making in America: From Innovation to Market. MIT Press. p. 191. ISBN 9780262019910 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b "Online Rental Markets Are Thriving". Yale School of Management. December 8, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  4. ^ Pozin, Ilya (July 19, 2012). "10 Greatest Industry-Disrupting Startups of 2012". Forbes. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  5. ^ Gansky, Lisa (2010). The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing. Penguin. p. 146. ISBN 9781101464618 – via Internet Archive.
  6. ^ Karmann, Markus (2011). The Rise of Collaborative Consumption on the Example of Couchsurfing. GRIN Verlag. p. 5. ISBN 9783656189190 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ "GetAround Connects Car Owners And Renters With P2P Marketplace". Business Insider. June 7, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "The Power of Connection: Peer-to-peer Businesses". United States House Committee on Small Business. January 15, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Duffer, Robert (August 29, 2018). "With carsharing, your car can make – instead of cost – you money". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  10. ^ Ostrofsky, Marc (2013). Word of Mouse: 101+ Trends in How We Buy, Sell, Live, Learn, Work, and Play. Simon and Schuster. p. 113. ISBN 9781451668421 – via Internet Archive.
  11. ^ Bell, Linda (May 11, 2019). "Don't want to buy a car? Rent your neighbor's". Fox Business. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  12. ^ International Risk Management Institute - Personal Vehicle Sharing Program Exclusion Endorsement
  13. ^ Whittaker, Richard (March 15, 2013). "SideCar to City: Have App, Will Travel ... to Court". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  14. ^ Retrieved July 19, 2019. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Elliott, Christopher (October 13, 2018). "The War Between Car Sharing And Rental Companies Just Escalated. Here's Why You Should Care". Forbes. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  16. ^ "Peer-to-peer Motor Vehicle Sharing Program". Colorado General Assembly. May 30, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  17. ^ "Solar Today". Solar Today. American Solar Energy Society: 77. 2002 – via Google Books.