Car sharing is one of many new ideas emerging in the transportation industry. Modeled after homeowner services like Airbnb and VRBO, car-sharing gives car owners the opportunity to lease their vehicles directly to customers when they aren’t using them. The model largely mimics the car rental sector, with the only distinction being the source of the vehicles. Companies like Turo and Avail offer car owners the availability to register and begin leasing their vehicles- so long as they qualify. 

The potential

With the pandemic driving the demand, rental car availability has gone down and demand has increased- creating a window for car owners who want to make some extra cash. Especially for those who are now working remotely and using their vehicles less, this could be a great way to increase the efficiency of vehicle use while creating a passive income stream. Of course, there can be major downsides- adding miles, potential mistreatment of the vehicle, just to name a few. For consumers, car sharing can provide lower prices and more custom vehicles options. Some states even offer tax incentives for car sharing. With these factors, it’s possible the car-sharing model could really find its footing in the industry. 

Larger impacts

Should the car-sharing model become more dominant, there could be many opportunities that follow for dealerships and the vehicle repair and maintenance industry at large. Off the bat, if more cars that were previously not on the road are brought into use, repair and maintenance needs will increase. For owners renting their vehicles, there could be an incentive to purchase more in order to increase their personal ‘fleets’ for even more passive income. For dealerships, this could be a goldmine of opportunity for new car sales and parts and service requests. While only time will tell, it’s worthwhile to consider now how you might adapt your operation if demand goes up. Consider potential repair and maintenance packages for owners who want to simplify the rental process or marketing for sales that highlights the opportunity for passive income when not using your vehicle.  

What do you think? Will car-sharing take off? Or is it just another passing trend? Leave a comment below!

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