Concerns are centered around a lack of regulation for the carsharing industry. - Photo via Kampus Production/Pexels

Concerns are centered around a lack of regulation for the carsharing industry.

During the pandemic, peer-to-peer carsharing grew in popularity and is becoming more popular across the world. Carsharing programs, such as Turo and Getaround, work similarly to Airbnb, with owners renting their cars directly to other people. It makes sense, right? Many people want the freedom of driving, but without the costs and inconveniences of personal car ownership. 

Peer-to-peer carsharing is a growing market, so what do those involved in it think about the new concept?

The Downside

Hawaiian officials are claiming that they don’t want to do high-volume, low-cost tourism, and are planning to introduce a bill that would ban peer-to-peer car rental apps in the state, citing concerns about the industry’s lack of regulation. It’s this lack of regulation that’s most concerning. Who actually pays for what in the event of an accident?

There is also the question of whether traditional car rental companies could face competition from peer-to-peer rentals. Established car rental companies claim that peer-to-peer rental companies aren’t helping consumers; just themselves. They suggest companies like Turo sometimes hurt consumers by providing substandard, unregulated services.   

Of course, consumers are very open to the sharing economy, as the success of BlaBlaCar, Turo, and Airbnb demonstrates. It provides users with an economical and efficient solution for occasional use. It also allows car owners to make extra money on days when they are not using their car. In fact, it is now estimated that almost 2.9 million people in North America avail services in this segment.  

Our Advice

This is a fairly new concept and a lot of development is still needed. There are too many gray areas yet to promote this method of car hire. Wisecars' advice would be to talk to your insurance agent or a tax specialist to ensure that all of your bases are covered before considering this option.

About the Author: Felicity Travaini is co-founder and president of Wisecars, a car rental broker offering price comparisons of major independent car rental suppliers around the world.