The Truth About Cars » RelayRides http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 05 Dec 2014 17:06:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » RelayRides http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Can Car Sharing Work In Suburbia? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/can-car-sharing-work-in-suburbia/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/can-car-sharing-work-in-suburbia/#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 13:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=787705 20 lawnmowers. 20 internet connections 20 videos of The Lion King. Oh, and 60+ vehicles on one street. I recently delved deep into one of the more challenging ideas of the modern age: car sharing in suburbia. It’s an idea that many non-enthusiasts and city dwellers love. But is it a good idea for suburbanites […]

The post Can Car Sharing Work In Suburbia? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
car-share-parking-photo111

20 lawnmowers.

20 internet connections

20 videos of The Lion King.

Oh, and 60+ vehicles on one street.

I recently delved deep into one of the more challenging ideas of the modern age: car sharing in suburbia. It’s an idea that many non-enthusiasts and city dwellers love. But is it a good idea for suburbanites and the rest of us?

gigaom

If we’re talking about the traditional form of commercialized car sharing, such as Zipcar and RelayRides, then the answers for right now are,= “No! Nein! Nyet!”.

Most of these services cost anywhere from $30 To $100 a day, and at least $10 an hour. For most folks who have to take their vehicles to the supermarkets, restaurants, friend’s houses and all the other places that make up the modern day ‘to-do’ list of suburban life, these services are just not economically viable.

The financial equation can be even worse for rural folk, and for auto enthusiasts in particular who happen to live in suburbia. The thought of giving up our rolling treasures to the pirates of bad driving is a big-time no-no nadir.

But that doesn’t mean car sharing can’t work if you have the right long-term relationships in place, and the right types of vehicles that complement each other for occasional use. Let me offer a real world example.c4

 

My neighbors who live diagonally from me have a small truck: a 1996 Toyota Tacoma with over 250k. They are retirees, and most of their daily transportation involves no more than one or two people. When they have visitors, they also have a 10 year old Cadillac Seville.

However, that Caddy just doesn’t offer enough seats for grandkids, parents and gransparents. Nor do the midsized cars that arrive on their driveway.

So what do they do?

c2

Well, I just happen to have a 2003 Chrysler Town & Country minivan these days. Seven seats. Dual sliding doors, and about 125,000 miles.  I have known my neighbors for a very long time, and we have both seen how we drive and maintain our vehicles. At the same time, even though I’m a car dealer, I can’t keep small trucks on my car lot. They are expensive to buy these days at the auctions, and the rare affordable one tends to sell quickly once it’s front-line ready.

As for minivans? They have become the modern day unsellable car in my world. So whenever he has a need for a minivan, which is about once every couple of months, I give him the keys to my ride. And whenever I need to move a lawnmower, a refrigerator, or just recently, a $20 bench press and weight set from the world famous Blue Chicken Auction, I borrow his small truck.

c1

We’re not the only folks who do this in my neck of the woods. The neighbors who live down the street from me have a full-sized van with plenty of towing capacity for their irrigation business. They also have a trailer for their equipment and a tow dolly. What they don’t have is space to house everything without parking on the street and encouraging the local code enforcement dimwits to get on their case.

So I offer them free storage at the back of one of my shops, use the tow dolly or trailer if there is ever a need, and the local suburban Gestapo has one less target for their punitive fines and harassment.

The van, trailer and dolly are also used in that rare event when a neighbor needs to move a riding lawnmower, or when a car is laid down on the side of the road. We get the keys and move the heavy things to wherever they need to go. No need for AAA or a U-haul.

c3

The goal of this light version of car sharing isn’t to share one vehicle 100% of the time. It is to satisfy that occasional 1% need. So that you don’t wind up wasting money on a one-size-fits-all, high-cost vehicle.

 

Is this a better idea for suburbanites? The article here summarizes a lot of the benefits and pitfalls. But as the old acronym goes, YMMV.

So what do you think? Can car sharing work in suburbia…and would you be willing to do it?

Note: You can reach Steve Lang directly at steve.lang@thetruthaboutcars.com

 

The post Can Car Sharing Work In Suburbia? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/can-car-sharing-work-in-suburbia/feed/ 83
Peer-to-peer car sharing services found lacking in substantial liability coverage http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/peer-to-peer-car-sharing-services-found-lacking-in-substantial-liability-coverage/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/peer-to-peer-car-sharing-services-found-lacking-in-substantial-liability-coverage/#comments Thu, 17 Oct 2013 11:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=625537 In cities where owning a car can be a pain (New York, Boston, Seattle), drivers are opting instead to share vehicles with other drivers, with companies such as ZipCar, Car2Go, RelayRides et al offering their services to help the public get around. All anyone needs beyond the basics is a subscription to the car-sharing service, […]

The post Peer-to-peer car sharing services found lacking in substantial liability coverage appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Car2Go in Seattle

In cities where owning a car can be a pain (New York, Boston, Seattle), drivers are opting instead to share vehicles with other drivers, with companies such as ZipCar, Car2Go, RelayRides et al offering their services to help the public get around. All anyone needs beyond the basics is a subscription to the car-sharing service, a reservation, and a drop-off location when they are finished with their errands. Even big-name rental car companies like Enterprise and Hertz are jumping into the new business model for a test drive, Avis having gone the farthest by purchasing ZipCar in January of 2013.

However, the insurance offered by these peer-to-peer rental companies might not all that it’s cracked up to be, with severe consequences should anything remotely catastrophic occur.

Forbes illustrates the problem with the liability insurance offered to subscribers of car-sharing services: An accident that left one driver dead and four others injured in Boston back in early 2012 led to a lawsuit between the four survivors against the estate of the deceased driver, the car’s owner, and RelayRides; the case was eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. With the exceptions of California, Oregon and Washington, automotive insurance polices have not caught up with this new industry, leading to most states offering only the barest of liability coverage, and to potential disasters such as the example given in the article.

Should you find yourself wanting to take part in peer-to-peer car sharing, in particular the kind involving renting out your own vehicle instead of one from an established car-sharing fleet (RelayRides is of the former, for example), Forbes recommends you take out supplemental coverage of $100,000 each for bodily injury and property damage, and $300,000 per accident, with high net-worth individuals taking out more to protect themselves and their assets. In fact, no matter what happens, you may end up needing to bulk up the inadequate coverage no matter the situation. Either that, or stick to the maxim “neither a lender nor a borrower be” when it comes to car sharing.

The post Peer-to-peer car sharing services found lacking in substantial liability coverage appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/peer-to-peer-car-sharing-services-found-lacking-in-substantial-liability-coverage/feed/ 11
Pimp Your Ride. Or: OnStar Allows Perfect Strangers To Open Your Car With Their Cell Phones http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/pimp-your-ride-or-onstar-allows-perfect-strangers-to-open-car-doors-with-their-cell-phones/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/pimp-your-ride-or-onstar-allows-perfect-strangers-to-open-car-doors-with-their-cell-phones/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2012 15:58:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=453114 Need some extra money? Want to work from home? Easy: Sell her to perfect strangers, by the hour. You will receive assistance in pimping her as long as she’s an OnStar-equipped Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac.   According to a GM release, GM OnStar subscribers can now rent out their idle vehicles through the RelayRides marketplace, […]

The post Pimp Your Ride. Or: OnStar Allows Perfect Strangers To Open Your Car With Their Cell Phones appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

Need some extra money? Want to work from home? Easy: Sell her to perfect strangers, by the hour. You will receive assistance in pimping her as long as she’s an OnStar-equipped Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac.  

According to a GM release, GM OnStar subscribers can now rent out their idle vehicles through the RelayRides marketplace, and “potentially earn hundreds of dollars a month to offset the cost of owning a vehicle.”

You don’t even need to see the john renter face to face, because “renters can unlock reserved OnStar-enabled cars simply by using their smart phones” says the press release.

Scary:

“Through OnStar’s proprietary API, RelayRides developers were given access to key vehicle-centric features such as location and remote door lock and unlock. This means renters can unlock the doors with their smart phone or by replying to a text message.”

I’d rather sell my soul for a few hundred bucks.

The post Pimp Your Ride. Or: OnStar Allows Perfect Strangers To Open Your Car With Their Cell Phones appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/pimp-your-ride-or-onstar-allows-perfect-strangers-to-open-car-doors-with-their-cell-phones/feed/ 56