Car sharing provider Getaround has secured a partnership deal and investment from Toyota. The two companies said they will work together to enable Getaround members to access, start, and drive new Toyotas without a physical car key. Toyota also invested an undisclosed sum in Getaround through its Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership. San Francisco-based Getaround has previously raised at least $56 million from investors for its app that enables car owners to rent out their vehicles.
Who are they?
Getaround is an on-demand car sharing marketplace where car owners can earn money by renting their cars out to others. The primary idea behind the service is that there are too many cars out there and pollution will decrease by sharing the existing supply of vehicles available. Partnership with Toyota will further that goal by encouraging Toyota owners to participate in the service through keyless rentals.
Once you sign your car up through Getaround, they rent it out to other drivers in your area. Getaround covers each rental with a million dollar umbrella coverage. Car owners can earn up to $10,000 per year renting out their vehicle. The Toyota partnership eliminates the middle-man between making money through Getaround and paying your monthly payment by allowing owners to apply their Getaround balance directly to their car loan.
Getaround was founded by Jessica Scorpio VP Marketing, Sam Zaid CEO, and Eliott Kroo VP Technology. Their team is in sunny San Francisco, CA. They also have a few top investors you’ll recognize including Marissa Mayer and Aston Kutcher. All of these people combine to provide sound leadership to this innovative company. It’s no surprise Toyota decided to invest in this promising team.
Getaround’s last major cash injection before the recent announcement came from Cox Enterprises and raised $24,000,000. An A and B round have already executed, and an independent cash injection provided in Dec 2011 from an unknown donor. The seed funding amount is unknown. The seed investors include Redpoint Ventures, Angus Davis, Barney Pell, and Fritz Lanman.
This sector is a relatively new area with various competitors already lining up to get into the game. GM has already partnered with Lyft, for example. Tesla has stated its desire to have a rental model for idle self-driving vehicles in its future. There will likely be consolidation and more competition before all is said and done but Getaround is getting in early, and that makes a massive difference. They’re much more liable to be one of the consolidators instead of being swallowed up in the chaos.
Why use Getaround to rent a car?
It’s an instant rental. They verify your driver’s license and credit card instantly. You can choose from 1,000s of cars in your neighborhood and rentals include insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance. Getaround is also free to join. There are no membership fees or annual fees. Just pay for your rentals.
Why rent through Getaround? Your car isn’t in use most of the time. You might as well put it to work doing something useful. It provides a return on your investment, and you can earn over $800 a month renting through the service. This approach helps put a dent in the average cost of car ownership, about $8,000 per year. When your car is not in use Getaround can unlock and rent your car through their app. You’re free to carry on with your day.
To start sharing your car, you’ll need to provide it a name and set its location. Getaround will upload high-quality photos of your vehicle for you, so you’ll get more rentals. You then set availability, a description, pickup instructions, and Getaround will pick up your car to install their Connect system which enables their app. Remember to provide detail instructions where needed to help renters find your vehicle and use it without needing your help.
Getaround provides primary insurance during rentals. You’ll still need to maintain insurance on the vehicle for when it’s not in use. They provide explicit etiquette instructions including not smoking, mileage limits, and more. The etiquette protocol is taken seriously because Getaround is enforcing it all along the way. If anything does happen to your vehicle including someone returning it late, dirty, or in very rare cases not returning it at, all Getaround will help you remedy the situation every step of the way. If your car needs repair, Getaround will work with you to fix the damage and help compensate you for any downtime required.
In addition to those benefits, Getaround provides a 24/7 helpdesk for roadside assistance and customer support. You’ll always be able to get in touch with a real human being if something happens. You won’t ever feel left in the dark. You get a free trial as a renter for 30 days. If you like it, there’s a $99 one-time fee for installation costs and a $20/month maintenance fee for the service.
This system enables Getaround Connect. The Getaround Connect system allows renters to unlock cars without needing to bother the owner. It also adds on some features like tamper detection for the system installed in your car, GPS tracking to know where your car is located, and engine lock for security purposes. If someone does try to sneak off with your vehicle they won’t get far.
You might’ve picked this up already but you’ll always know where your car is parked and you’ll be able to unlock it with your phone. Getaround always knows who is renting your vehicle because they work with the DMV for driver history as well as verifying identity through Facebook, the credit bureau and sixteen other points of reference. Active feedback is encouraged so you can be confident a renter who doesn’t adhere to community standards won’t continue renting vehicles through Getaround.
Getaround does take a 40% commission for overhead costs. rental earnings accrue monthly and pay out to you on the 15th of the following month. You can earn more by encouraging others to use the service through social media. Getaround offers a $20 driving credit to those who sign up through referrals making it a win-win for both the new customer and the renter.
There are a couple of things that make Getaround unique. The app is a major one. Finding a car quickly and connecting to it to unlock it all through the application make the whole process a lot easier. Getaround also takes Apple Pay which makes paying on Apple phones a breeze. The partnership with Toyota is just the beginning. Getaround is going to go a long way if it keeps innovating like it has been and continues to offer high-quality services to both the driver and the borrower of its vehicles.
If you have any questions about the service, definitely check out their website. They take all sorts of vehicles from compacts to convertibles. renters are also looking for many different types of cars – so don’t assume yours isn’t one of them.