The Ride Guide to Getaround

  • Based in Los Angeles, Warren Clarke loves providing readers with the information they need to make smart automotive choices. He's provided content for outlets such as Carfax, Edmunds.com, Credit Karma and the New York Daily News.

can be reached at wgcla@hotmail.com
  • Based in Los Angeles, Warren Clarke loves providing readers with the information they need to make smart automotive choices. He's provided content for outlets such as Carfax, Edmunds.com, Credit Karma and the New York Daily News.

can be reached at wgcla@hotmail.com
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Many households have made the conscious decision to ditch car ownership. In communities that have a well-developed public transportation system, this is nothing new. Many New Yorkers, for example, have been reliant on the city’s subway system for years.

However, the rise of innovations like peer-to-peer car sharing has made it easier than ever for folks to avoid the hassle and expense of car ownership. These days, it’s possible to survive and thrive in a car-free lifestyle without personally owning a vehicle or needing to depend on public transportation.

One of the most intriguing peer-to-peer car-sharing services is Getaround. Let’s take a look at what this innovative rental provider has to offer.

How Does Getaround Work?

A person holds car keys
With Getaround car sharing, there’s no paperwork and no waiting, and there’s no need to ever set foot in a car rental office. (Pixabay)

For those who need transportation in a hurry, Getaround makes car sharing easy. This service allows users to rent vehicles from private car owners. Unlike traditional car rental, there’s no paperwork and no waiting, and there’s no need to ever set foot in a rental office.

Getaround offers hourly and daily rentals, and you complete the transaction by smartphone via an app that’s available for iPhone and Android. There is no membership fee required to join, and rentals are available for as little as $5 per hour.

Renters have to provide a driver’s license number and credit card information prior to making the first transaction. Getaround uses this information to verify identity.

What about car insurance?

Every Getaround rental includes insurance coverage, and this is provided at no extra cost to the renter. This coverage includes liability, collision, property damage, uninsured motorist protection, and theft.

As an added perk, Getaround also provides 24/7 roadside assistance courtesy of the National Automobile Club.

What types of vehicles are available?

2018 Subaru Anniversary Edition models
Getaround offers a wide variety of cars, SUVs, and more. (Subaru)

Vehicle selection varies from area to area. Generally speaking, though, a wide variety of makes and models are available. The list may include convertibles, SUVs, trucks, vans, luxury vehicles, and exotics. Electric cars and SUVs may be available, as well as all-wheel-drive vehicles that offer the added traction needed in ice and snow.

Is Getaround available nationwide?

At the start of 2019, Getaround was offered in these areas: San Francisco; Berkeley, CA; Oakland, CA; Los Angeles; Chicago; Portland, OR; Washington D.C.; New Jersey; Philadelphia; Seattle; Boston; New York City; Miami; and San Diego. The list keeps growing as the company works to expand its reach.

Is it possible to extend a rental?

Yes. You can extend your rental using the Getaround app, provided the vehicle is available for the additional time.

What happens if a car is returned late?

If the car is returned late, the renter will be charged the vehicle’s hourly rate. In addition, the renter will have to pay a $50 late return fine for each hour the car is late, up to a maximum of $500.

Renters can avoid late fees by simply extending the rental using the Getaround app.

Are there any mileage limitations?

Most cars on Getaround have a mileage limit of 20 miles traveled per hour rented. Thus, you can travel 200 miles during a 10-hour rental.

With specialty cars like Teslas, there’s a mileage limit of 10 miles traveled per hour rented.

Do rentals have to be returned with a full tank of gas?

Each car must be returned with at least as much gas in the tank (or charge in the battery) as there was at the start of the rental. If this rule isn’t observed, the renter may be charged a fee.

Are pets allowed in the rental vehicles?

Pets riding in a Getaround rental vehicle
Getaround can make exceptions for pets by assigning a pet-friendly vehicle, but your furry friends are never allowed to drive. (Subaru)

Typically, pets aren’t allowed in Getaround rental vehicles. Exceptions are made for vehicles that have been specially designated as pet-friendly cars. If a pet is traveling in one of these cars, a carrier cage should be used, and the vehicle must be returned free of pet hair, smell, and waste.

How can someone list a car for rental on Getaround?

To list a vehicle on Getaround, it’s necessary to complete an online form that includes the car owners’ name, email address, phone number, and zip code. The car’s model year and mileage must also be provided.

Car owners will need to create an online profile that includes photos of the car along with a description. Also, instructions on how renters can pick up the car and return it need to be included. Car owners can set a weekly repeating schedule for rental availability, or they can choose to block off days when the vehicle won’t be offered.

What are the benefits of offering a car for rental on Getaround?

Traffic in New York City
Offering a vehicle for rental via peer-to-peer car sharing can help reduce traffic and pollution. (Pixabay)

Offering a vehicle for rental on Getaround gives car owners the chance to make thousands of dollars each year in additional income.

It also gives car owners the opportunity to help their community. Many vehicle owners who offer their cars on Getaround report that renters express a great deal of gratitude for the service they’ve provided.

Finally, offering a car for rental is good for the environment, since it can help reduce the number of vehicles on the road. This can ultimately have a favorable impact on both pollution and traffic.

What is Getaround Connect, and how much does it cost?

Car owners have the option of equipping their rental vehicles with technology called Getaround Connect. This feature is a device that’s attached to the car, and it communicates with a smartphone app.

It serves as a digital key that allows renters to easily locate and unlock cars using their smartphones. It also allows renters to pick up the car without needing to meet the car owner for a key handoff, and it includes security features such as GPS tracking and engine lock.

Getaround Connect comes with a $99 one-time installation fee and a $20 monthly charge to the car owner.

What steps are taken to make sure potential renters are safe drivers?

Prior to rental, Getaround screens drivers to make sure they have a safe driving record. To be eligible to rent, drivers can have no more than two violations or accidents combined in the past three years.

Getaround verifies renter identity using the Department of Motor Vehicles, Facebook, credit bureaus, and 16 additional points of reference.

The Bottom Line

Peer-to-peer car sharing is a convenient tool for those who are living a life that’s free of the expenses and responsibilities that come with car ownership. Getaround is one of the most compelling choices in this budding segment of service providers.

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About the Author

  • Based in Los Angeles, Warren Clarke loves providing readers with the information they need to make smart automotive choices. He's provided content for outlets such as Carfax, Edmunds.com, Credit Karma and the New York Daily News.

can be reached at wgcla@hotmail.com
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