More and more “car club” services are popping up all over the UK. Zipcar, for example, a company that owns a fleets of cars that drivers can hire for as little as an hour, have locations in major cities across the country. The peer to peer rental/sharing market has soared over the last few years, with thousands of people hiring out everything from their spare bedroom to their Louboutins – so why not make some money from your car, too?
Image: The Guardian
easyCar Club have spotted a gap in the hire car market, allowing people to hire their car directly to other drivers in the local area. It’s immensely safer than hiring through a local free listings site or social networking sites, as there are a whole hot of protective measures in place, including feedback for both the hirer and the owner, insurance provided by easyCar for the duration of the hire period (which means that your no claims discount is protected, as the hire doesn’t effect your existing insurance policy), RAC cover (whether you’re driving your car or whether you’re hiring the car out) and the ability to “block out” days or weeks where you’ll be driving the car, and to accept or deny requests to hire as and when you please. Put simply, you are in control of each and every hire.
The sticking point with easyCar’s system is that they are quite stringent with regards to who can hire their car out. Vehicles must be less than five years old (although older vehicles can become hire cars – easyCar will pay for an RAC inspector to make sure that it’s roadworthy), have driven less than 120,000 miles, be worth less than £60,000 and be covered in insurance classes 1-32. This means that your average, run of the mill family/city/commuting car will fit the bill just nicely. If you have a more exotic car – like a Ferrari or a Lambourghini (lucky you) there are sites dedicated to hiring out these types of cars, with the proper insurance and maintenance cover included so that you don’t need to worry about whether your car is going to get scratched/totaled.
Something to keep in mind when considering hiring out your car is how attached you are to it. If you’re a bit of a fanatic, wash and wax it weekly and are slightly obsessive about not letting the children eat in it, hiring out is probably not the best idea – no matter the precautions, even if you stipulate that the car must be returned clean, tidy and with a full tank of petrol – the person hiring the car may have a different view on what clean, tidy and full mean. On the other hand, if your car is simply something you use to get from A to B, or you use it in conjunction with public transport, or if it’s sat in a train/bus car park each day for 10 hours whilst you commute, hiring it out could provide you with extra income for very little effort and very little fuss.