By on March 13, 2018

2017 Chevrolet Malibu - Image: GM

Only if you choose to, it seems. After launching its Maven ride-sharing service in numerous U.S. cities, as well as Canada’s largest population center, sources claim General Motors wants to expand the service to privately owned vehicles.

In other words, you’ll be able to make your own GM car available via the automaker’s app-based Maven service, generate income from short-term renters, while GM takes part of the cut. If the plan goes ahead, let’s hope your renters aren’t as slovenly as these ones.

Sources close to the matter tell Bloomberg (via Automotive News) the automaker plans to launch a pilot program early this summer. By expanding its Maven service, launched in 2016, GM stands to gain additional revenue through its retail sales, while still putting GM vehicles in the hands of prospective buyers. Right now, all Maven vehicles are GM-owned.

Talk about squeezing extra juice from the orange.

The appeal for GM goes beyond this. In some cases, new-car affordability might only be reached if the buyer knows they can turn their vehicle into an Airbnb on wheels. It’s not a new idea; upstart peer-to-peer car sharing services like Turo already exist in some markets. As the mobility realm grows (and the new car market cools), GM clearly wants to remain at the forefront. Maven gives it a good starting point to grow from.

Renting out your own car means taking on more risk, so there’s an insurance aspect to the deal. Maven provides liability coverage for its renters, whether they are short-term or longer-term drivers booking a car through Maven Gig. Owners renting out their personal car through Turo can choose to purchase a commercial insurance plan through the service’s partners or add the protection through their own provider (if offered).

How GM plans to tackle the insurance issue, should it move forward with the peer-to-peer Maven plan, isn’t yet known.

[Image: General Motors]

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33 Comments on “GM Preparing to Rent Your Car: Report...”


  • avatar
    Gail Bloxham

    Maven? Another bad name brought to you from the folks who came up with the idiot Mr. Goodwrench. The guy you will need to know when your GM car breaks down. WHEN it breaks down.*
    Maven… Airbnb for rubber tired vehicles.
    Another idea by committee. By a GM committee.
    * The days of GM unreliability are long past. . I’m the first to admit that. GM vehicles of today are indeed very very reliable.

  • avatar
    Gail Bloxham

    Maven? Another bad name brought to you from the folks who came up with the idiot Mr. Goodwrench. The guy you will need to know when your GM car breaks down. WHEN it breaks down.*
    Maven… Airbnb for rubber tired vehicles.
    Another idea by committee. By a GM committee.
    * The days of GM unreliability are long past. . I’m the first to admit that. GM vehicles of today are indeed very very reliable.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      GM’s stupid brand names go way back. Lets anyone forget it was GM-brand dealerships that sold “Ok used cars.” Which was OK because of the up-rightward slant to the script that of course connotes happiness and good feelings.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Patently ludicrous. They should have gone with “Mulva”.

  • avatar
    ScarecrowRepair

    I don’t even like loaning my car to friends because the seat, mirrors, and radio stations change. Then there’s the glove box and trunk stuff which always seems to relocate and even disappear sometimes (that roll of paper towels for cleaning windows, or the spare quart or two of oil, or the jumper cables, for instance).

    I can’t imagine letting utter strangers borrow the car, no matter how much they paid or what guarantees there were. I’d have to strip out all that stuff and put it all back when I wanted to use it, and it’s just not worth the hassle. I’d feel like I was the one renting a car.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Random stranger to 87′ Morgan…Hey, can I rent your car for two days? And then next week someone else will rent your car?
    Morgan: Do I have any other option?
    Random Stranger: You would have to get a root canal every six months.
    Morgan: I’m gonna have the best teeth roots ever.

    Just no. If you need to rent out your car in order to afford it, wait for it. You can’t afford it. Buy a less expensive car.

    • 0 avatar
      The Ghost of Buckshot Jones

      So, uh, you’ve never heard of AirBNB, or the concept of owning something like a beach house that gets rented? Rental properties aren’t exactly a new concept, utilizing a car for this doesn’t seem too far off.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    Why not just buy Turo?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Ain’t No Way.

    I’ve lived in many parts of this country and seen how people treat other people’s property (when the owners aren’t watching.) Ain’t no way I would accede to this request unless GM pays for ALL repairs and other operating costs.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Absolutely no way would I dream of renting my cars out.. I include vehicles as part of my personal space.

    I’m confident that we have folks here in the B&B that have a lot of money invested in their wardrobe. Would you rent one of your expensive suits out ?

  • avatar
    civicjohn

    I guess I’m the only one who has ever abused a rental car, so I’m fine with it. “Just take care of old Bessie, she’ll treat you right, and I’ll see you in a few days!”

    …7 days later….”Hello, can I speak with my insurance agent? I’ve lost my car.”

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I won’t lend my truck to anyone let alone rent it.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      “Yes this is my truck, no I won’t help you move.”

      I proudly had that bumper sticker on my truck.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @PrincipalDan – when I had my reg cab 3/4 ton F250 I also had an enclosed utility trailer. I lost count of the number of friends I helped move but when I moved into my house they were nowhere to found. So yes, I agree with at sentiment 100%.

        • 0 avatar
          Cactuar

          I’m so over the moving abuse. So you have money for a 300k$ house but still need friends and family to move your stuff? Give me a break. Hire a moving company and be done with it.

          I don’t mind moving folks who truly need help though.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Let’s put it this way, at 200K you end up evaporating 25 large and then the local moving company wants $650 to move an apartment’s worth of stuff a mile and a half (I got fly by night movers to do heavy stuff for $300 cash and paid a further $200 to a friend to help move the rest). Bless you for helping people in that position.

      • 0 avatar
        The Ghost of Buckshot Jones

        What’s it like to not have friends?

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Devil’s in the details, but probably not a bad concept for people who view their cars as necessary conveyances. Say, if you bought an ex-rental Malibu because it was dirt cheap, tend to slosh a bit of coffee on your center console without stressing over it, and want to bring your cost of ownership per mile down a bit, here you go.

  • avatar
    marc

    I don’t post much anymore, but since I do this with my Prius, I thought I’d chime in.

    I walk to work, so I don’t drive much. Renting my car out through Getaround (available in SF and I don’t know where else) covers my car payment and insurance, and I pocket a nice bit of change on top of that. It’s not without issues, but in today’s gig economy, it works. Hell, when I leave the club at 2am, people try to hop in my Prius thinking it’s an Uber anyway. Toyota partners with Getaround (editors, you should really do. a piece on that), so why shouldn’t GM jump in with Maven? It’ll take some work getting it off the ground, but if it builds up a large client base, I’d consider switching brands. Drive a Regal GS once in a while and make money on it the rest of the time? Sign me up.

    You’d be surprised at well people take care of your car. These are typically your neighbors. And at the end of the day, it’s a car, not my soul, on the line here. If I drove an S-Class would I rent it out? No, but when I upgrade to a small Lexus next year, I’ll still do it.

    So it fills a need, it’s a growing area, and GM wants a piece of it. Many of you probably can’t wrap your heads around it, but welcome to the future.

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      Have you ever studied economics?

      When you have low barriers to entry, profit goes to zero for a commodity product. Which is what this is.

      But it gets worse.

      As long as people are willing to operate at a loss, the economics will get worse. Get a bunch of people who don’t understand their true cost of ownership, and it ruins the economics of it for everyone.

      It’s the Uber problem. They make very little because there are too many of them. It’s a buyers market.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    There may be an intent to drop renters who are reported as car abusers. My problem doing this would be the uncertainty of knowing when my car would be available. It just sounds like a lot of hassle for money I don’t need.

    On the other hand many people initially afford a house by renting part of it and living in the basement.

    People should treat borrowed and rental cars better than they would treat their own. To abuse a rental is indicative of a deep character flaw.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      This only makes sense if you own a car that you don’t need. I see city dwellers doing it, because they won’t use their car much, and have alternatives to get around when someone borrows the car. Essentially, you’ve got the luxury of having other people pay for a car that you use on occasion.

      But for people who need their car every day, this is unworkable.

      • 0 avatar
        marc

        “I see city dwellers doing it, because they won’t use their car much, and have alternatives to get around when someone borrows the car. Essentially, you’ve got the luxury of having other people pay for a car that you use on occasion.”

        Bingo. You’ve just described me and a whole lotta other city dwellers.

        “Have you ever studied economics?”

        I assume that’s just a generic question, and that you don’t actually expect me to go back and get a 2nd Master’s Degree just to prove that I am actually making money. The check that shows up each month exceeding car payment, insurance, maintenance, and yes even depreciation can’t be that wrong.

        Who does it make economic sense for? The renter, car owner or GM? Uber may be the leader here, but I question Uber’s model all the time, while I begrudgingly hail a ride home from the bars. Are they profitable yet? How do their drivers subsist on such low profit? But the gig economy is here. (And yes, I do the renting out part of home bit too. And no, I’m not a millennial.)

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          I think he’s saying that once everyone is renting someone else’s car, your check is going to get a lot smaller. Bigger market, more competition, and less motivation for GM/Turo/Etc to pay you a fair price.

    • 0 avatar

      @ brandloyalty: Indeed, people “should” treat another’s property better than their own. Reality is most do not from my experience, especially if the owner is particular about their property in the first place. (It’s human nature, not a deep character defect.) Fewer hold to the thought of leaving something in better condition than they found it. Obviously, those folks are not the ones that should even consider renting out their vehicle. If one does not care what happens to their vehicle – they don’t have much in the way of insurance, don’t do regular maintenance, never wash the vehicle, pretty much neglect said property; those folks should take advantage of the opportunity. I’d rather not rent or borrow said property.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    The headline to this post is *HIGHLY* misleading. I initially thought GM was somehow forcing you to rent your own car.

    I sense a bit of shame from many posters here… I think there’s a time in their past where they themselves abused rentals, which kind of explains the “oh I’d never rent my car out” type of statements.

    I share in a bit of this guilt myself. Also, I’ll admit to not understanding this aspect of the gig economy. But for folks who are comfortable with it, more power to them…

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      No shame here.

      I would never rent my car out, and I’ve almost never let someone drive my car because I don’t trust other people to show the level of care I show. Why? Because I watch how others behave.

  • avatar
    Shockrave Flash Has Crashed

    Rent out your car, lose your house in the lawsuit. You need to be properly incorporated to protect your assets.

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