The most recent is Turo, an American start-up that claims to be the leader in peer-to-peer sharing with more than 5 million customers worldwide and 200,000 vehicles in more than 5,500 cities. Daimler has also been involved in the company since 2017. The Americans compete with the self-proclaimed European leader Snappcar with 50,000 cars and 400,000 customers, in which the Opel service CarUnity has risen, or to Drivy. The service Croove, which Daimler started a good year ago in Munich, is supposed to merge into Turo. They all provide more or less nationally private vehicles for rent, live off the commission and promise prices well below car rental level.
What idea is behind it?
The worldwide more than one billion and in Germany at least 45 million vehicles are on average 23 hours a day quiet, explains Turo boss Andre Haddad. The services they offer enhance the potential of private cars: “It’s a flexible mobility solution for travelers and gives car owners a valuable tool to offset the cost of their vehicles.” Because the owners get money for every use, and customers usually pay less for a private sharing vehicle than for a rental car.
How does the rental and transfer work?
The rental is usually via smartphone apps or the website. At Turo, for example, tenants can according to the information, in addition to place and date, even select the make, model and color of the vehicle. If the booking request is accepted by the landlord, they meet to hand over the car. Here, the landlord checks the authenticity of the driver’s license, together, for example, kilometer and fuel gauge and any damage to the car are recorded with photos, explains spokeswoman Katharina Hein. After all the details have been checked on the return of the car, the payment is made via services such as Paypal. The receipt can be downloaded from the website.
Sounds a bit awkward, right?
This is also admitted by Susanne Kreusch. The Berliner was a peer-to-peer Sharerin of the first hour at the time of the now discontinued Opel service CarUnity and has given her BMW 116i many times to strangers. However, she always had to arrange a personal meeting to hand over the keys, which had limited the flexibility.
But that is changing so slowly now. In the same way as you can open the commercial sharing vehicles of Car2Go and DriveNow without a key, in the future also conventional cars can be upgraded accordingly: Smart and Mini at least confirm appropriate solutions and announce the early sale release.
Even Drivy owners can have a technology called Drive Open built into their car – so that others can open it by smartphone and owners no longer have to hand over.
The Chinese manufacturer Lynk & Co. has even given its off-road vehicle Lynk 01 a special sharing button in the cockpit, with which you can release the car for a defined community. Then registered users can open the car with the smartphone, and the manufacturer takes care of the billing at individually defined rates, explains brand manager Alain Visser. Volvo is also working on a SUV, which can be opened with a previously activated smartphone and used by strangers, without having to hand over the keys with difficulty.
How do I find a free car?
About the website or app can search cars in the vicinity. At Turo, landlords may also offer delivery of the car at an additional cost, for example to the nearest airport or to another location requested by the customer.
What does it cost and what tariffs are there?
Depending on the provider, cars are offered by the hour or by day – often for less than 50 euros per 24 hours. For Drivy about the average price is according to own data 30 euro per day plus the fuel costs.
What about insurance protection?
The mediators Turo, Drivy and Snappcar cooperate with the alliance. The landlord must take out a corresponding additional insurance, which includes liability and hull damage. The primary insurance of the car remains unaffected. The renter can choose between several packages with different deductibles.
Do I need to inform my car insurance company about car sharing?
This is definitely advisable, says Jens Dötsch, member of the Association of Traffic Law of the German Bar Association (DAV). For example, drivers reduce the risk of potential benefit cuts in the event that the insurer of the carsharing company does not pay for the damage in full. This applies to both liability and comprehensive insurance. “It can also be, for example, that I have a tariff that excludes commercial use,” says Dötsch. “And nothing else is here, I earn money with it.”
In the event of an accident, it is common practice for the injured party to register for the actual liability insurance of the polluter. “Because I do not know if the car is currently in car sharing or not,” explains Dötsch. “And as a victim, I would not rely on obscure designs, but turn to the insurer where the car is actually insured.” For example, he can find out about the license plate number of the insurer’s central call.
For each damage report, the insurer must first automatically upgrade the customer. This can be reversed in retrospect, if no payments are required, explains Dötsch. Then you have to explain to your insurer, however, why the car is insured with another insurer in addition – and ask him to get in touch because of the upgrading and claim settlement with this. “I can not imagine that in practice so smoothly and without work for the landlord expires.”