With nearly one million motors in the UK being driven just once a month, several apps offer owners the chance to make cash by allowing strangers to drive the vehicles for a fee.
Officially known as peer-to-peer car-sharing platforms, the schemes claim you can make up to £300 a day hiring out a car when it would otherwise be parked on the drive.
Reece Moore, 30, makes around £700 a month hiring out his two-year-old Renault Clio using car-sharing app Drivy.
The manager, from Stratford, East London, is using the cash to pay for a trip to Singapore.
He says: “I’ve only used my car four or five times a month so to be able to make money while it isn’t in use is fantastic.
"I’ve always dreamed of going to Asia and now I’m going all expenses paid thanks to the cash we’ve made using Drivy.”
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Car-sharing platforms match people who want to rent a car for a few hours, a day or longer with available cars owned by people nearby.
Reece pays an extra £26 per month for Drivy Open technology — a system which lets renters use the app to open the car and pick up the key without the owner being around.
He says: “Sometimes I don’t see my car for a couple of days at a time, because it’s out making me money.”
His motor costs around £80 per month to insure, maintain and tax, and he estimates he makes a profit of around £520 a month.
French-based Drivy launched in London earlier this year and is now expanding.
Other car-sharing platforms offering a similar service include easyCar Club and hiyacar.
Hiya car lets owners rent out their vehicles for up to £300 a day and offers them the chance to fit a “QuickStart” box to their car which contains the keys and it can be opened with the app.
Another novel idea is the Car & Away app, which lets owners going on holiday from Gatwick Airport rent out their car during their absence, to people arriving at the airport.
“It means holidaymakers can save on parking and earn money at the same time.
How to rent your car
Easy Car Club
Earn: Between £30 and £100 a day
Cost: 10 per cent commission
Earn: Average of £30 per day
Cost: 30 per cent commission, plus £26 per month if you install the Open technology system
Earn: Between £16 to £300 per day
Cost: 30 per cent commission
All car-sharing platforms should provide insurance through a reputable firm, such as AXA or Allianz, to cover the car while it is being driven by strangers.
The cost of this, around £6 a day, is usually charged to the renter.
Katy Medlock, UK Drivy boss, said: “The insurance Allianz created for Drivy supersedes the owner’s personal insurance for the duration of the rental. Any issue during the rental will be taken care of by Allianz.”
But you must also check with your regular insurer to ensure renting out your car does not invalidate your own insurance.
The Association of British Insurers warns an annual car policy could be compromised if a motor does more miles than it is insured for, for example.
Matt Oliver, of GoCompare, says: “If someone who isn’t named on your policy is driving your car, you need to speak to your insurer and check you won’t invalidate it.”
Five tips if you want to rent out your motor
IF you are planning to rent out your motor on a car-sharing platform, there are a few things to watch for:
1) REVIEWS: Like Airbnb, car owners on car-sharing platforms get reviews from renters which can affect how many bookings they get. So make sure you keep your car clean, tidy and in a convenient location – like near a train station – for the best reviews.
2) COSTS: All car-sharing platforms make money by taking a cut of between ten and 40 per cent from the car hire. Check the terms before signing up. And look out for extra costs – such as the £26 monthly subscription Drivy charges for its Open system.
3) WHEN THINGS GO WRONG: Read all the terms carefully before signing up so you understand what you need to do to get reimbursed if something goes wrong, like renters getting parking or speeding tickets, or damaging or stealing your car.
It is important to take photos of any damage to the car before each time you hire it out, so you can prove what it looked like before.
4) WEAR AND TEAR: Remember that hiring out your car could considerably add to your annual mileage, as well as the wear and tear on your car. So you might have bigger garage bills.
5) TAX: You can earn up to £1,000 tax-free through online trading, such as selling on eBay or renting out your car. But you may have to ask HMRC for this allowance.
'I earn £400 a month'
EDWARD BAILLIE, 68, rents out his Audi A4 for £70 a day to help fund his charity for prisoners with addiction issues.
The addictions counsellor, of Wandsworth, South West London, can make up to £400 a month from letting others use the car when he does not need it.
He bought the motor on finance for £21,000 in 2015 and renting it out on Drivy covers the monthly repayments as well as petrol to travel to different prisons across Britain for his New Dimensions charity.
Edward says: “The costs of my car are easily covered by my Drivy income, which has meant I have been able to keep running a personal vehicle while setting up New Dimensions.
“Without it, it simply would not have been worthwhile to keep the vehicle. I need it to commute to prisons around the country.
“I’ve used Airbnb in the past to make money from my old flat. The sharing economy is ideal for me.”
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