Last year I replaced my trusty old Toyota Camry with a beautiful new Hyundai Tucson. I’m not a car enthusiast but that burnt orange body, black leather seats, and turbocharged engine gave me so much joy.
Then four weeks later, I was laid off.
Instead of going back to an office job, I started freelancing from home. Now every day I look at those four wheels and wonder if there’s anything better it could be doing than taking up space in my driveway.
With Getaround, there might be.
What is Getaround and How Does it Work?
Getaround is a car-sharing platform where car owners can rent out their underused cars to people in their city.
It operates in 300 cities across seven countries with over five million users sharing and renting everything from trucks and vans to exotic and luxury cars. Renters pay hourly for access to cars and owners get to monetize their unused vehicles.
Entry is keyless and you control when and how often you rent, making this a truly passive way to earn money with your car.
Owners typically charge anywhere from $5 to $10 per hour and the company claims that, on average, people who make money with Getaround earn thousands every year.
Is Getaround Legit?
Getaround is a legitimate company, with a B rating from the Better Business Bureau. The app has a 3.8 of 5 star rating on the Google Play store and 4.8 in the Apple app store.
However, a review of Getaround’s BBB profile shows numerous complaints from customers. Some vehicle owners say that the company is slow to respond and resolve issues of damaged vehicles. A common complaint among renters is being falsely accused of damaging a vehicle and held at fault for the repairs.
While Getaround is one of several legitimate car-sharing companies, renters should be aware of the potential downfalls and take additional security measures to protect their vehicles where possible.
Getaround Review: How to Make Money Renting Your Car
If renters are only paying an average of $8 per hour, is Getaround profitable as a side hustle? Several owners have said you can make a profit. But first, there are a few steps you need to take before you can make money with Getaround.
Step 1: Review Getaround’s minimum requirements.
In order to share your car on Getaround, it must be a private passenger vehicle with at least four wheels, 2010 or newer, have less than 125,000 miles, and seat no more than 8 passengers. There’s no professional safety inspection, so you’re responsible for ensuring your car meets the required safety standards.
Getaround provides insurance for trips so there are no insurance, license, or driving record requirements for owners other than those required by state law.
Still, some owners choose to make the switch to more rideshare-friendly insurance companies. John Frigo is one of them. He has the option of working from home. Six months ago, Frigo decided to start renting out his car on Getaround.
“My biggest challenge was making sure my auto insurance covered this type of thing,” Frigo said. “I wound up switching to State Farm as I knew from Ubering they were more flexible with outside-of-the-box solutions than my previous insurer.”
While incidents that happen during trips are covered by Getaround and don’t affect your personal insurance, some companies will still drop your coverage.
Step 2: List your car.
Once you’re sure your car meets the minimum listing and safety requirements, you’re ready to list it. Creating your listing is free and there are no premium upgrade options, putting everyone on equal footing with their listing. You won’t have to compete with those who’ve paid for advertising.
You’ll enter your car’s year and mileage, the ZIP Code for where you’ll be sharing your car, and instructions for renters on how to access and operate the vehicle, then hit “Start earning.” A Getaround representative will then contact you to finish your setup.
In the meantime, take photos of your vehicle based on Getaround’s recommended angles. You can upload up to 12 photos, and cars that take advantage of all 12 rent more easily than those that don’t.
Step 3: Install Getaround Connect.
Before you can start renting your car, a Getaround representative will finish your account setup and physically install Getaround Connect in your car.
This electronic device allows owners and renters to lock and unlock the doors of Getaround cars using the Getaround app. After a 90-day free trial, Getaround Connect costs a one-time fee of $99 to install and $20 a month as long as your car is active on Getaround.
Getaround Connect also tracks the location of your vehicle and includes anti-theft functionality that disables the car’s starter when not in use by the owner or a verified renter. While that’s the goal, the device isn’t perfect.
Just ask Fred Phillips.
Phillips rented out his Ford Transit in San Francisco, CA and because it was only one of a handful of cargo vans available in the area, he was able to make around $1,000 per month after expenses.
But in May 2020, the van, which was parked in a Getaround reserved parking lot, was stolen and unable to be found, despite having Getaround Connect installed.
“When I went to check on the van, the app showed it was sitting in its parking spot, but it was gone. That means the system was somehow bypassed, and the ignition interlock disabled,” Phillips said. “The app still shows it sitting in its parking space.”
Technology can be broken or malfunction at any time, so it’s still your responsibility to put your own additional measures in place to protect your vehicle.
Step 4: Understand your benefits.
Owners have several benefits that make renting their car out on Getaround simple and profitable. The most important is $1 million in insurance coverage during all active trips. This includes comprehensive, collision, and liability coverage.
And in addition to the keyless entry for renters, owners and renters can use the regular key or key fob to start the car or enable Enhanced Security to start the car directly from the Getaround app. They can also use the app to lock the starter at the end of a trip.
Things to Consider Before You List Your Car on Getaround
A recurring complaint among owners is Getaround’s lack of communication and their slow repair time when a renter damages their car.
Fred Phillips experienced this as well. In addition to the theft, a different renter backed his Transit into a pole, doing thousands of dollars in damage to the van. He said it was eventually repaired but it took two months.
Michael Lowe, CEO of Car Passionate, had a similar experience. One of his renters got into a minor accident last year and it took Getaround over six weeks to fix it.
“While the car repairs were covered, I was offered no compensation for the income loss suffered while it was out of action,” Lowe said, even though Getaround states that it offers a loss of use reimbursement for damage incurred by renters.
Lastly, most of the expenses incurred during a rental are the responsibility of the renter or Getaround. Some fall on the owner upfront, including citations or tickets incurred by renters, accident repairs, and cleaning for excessively dirty trips.
These are reimbursed, but make sure you have the money upfront to afford them.
Getaround vs. Turo vs. HyreCar
Getaround isn’t the only car-sharing company out there and it may not be the only one you use to earn extra money. Getaround is more passive and offers unique features compared to other car-sharing platforms like Turo and HyreCar. First, it offers hourly car rentals as well as remote access to the vehicles through the app.
Turo and HyreCar both require renters to pay a daily rate and renters must meet the car owner to pick up the keys.
Unfortunately, Getaround is only available in 300 cities while Turo has cars in over 5,500 cities. HyreCar also caters to Uber, Lyft, and delivery drivers. If you’re renting a car for the sole purpose of working a transportation-based side hustle, you’ll want to start there.
Getaround Review Summary: Proceed with Caution
While Getaround is a great way to earn passive income with your car, it does come with a few problems, particularly if your car is damaged or stolen. If you’re uncertain about renting out your car but still want to put it to use, you have other options.
If you commute to work, you may be able to get paid to advertise on your car. You can also use your free time to make money delivering groceries or takeout.
Find the side hustle that works for you and your car so you can make money long term.