Maven's 'Peer Cars': Your Mobility Future Is Someone Else's Ride

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
mavens 8216 peer cars your mobility future is someone elses ride

A pilot project we discussed months ago is now up and running in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Chicago. Launched by General Motors’ Maven ride-sharing arm, the new peer-to-peer service goes beyond the existing fleet of GM-owned vehicles (which Maven users can rent for varying periods) and into the realm of the privately-owned car.

Yes, there’s owners who are now letting their car work for them.

Called Peer Cars, these 2015-or-newer GM vehicles appear alongside Maven Cars whenever a Maven user in a participating market takes out their phone and opens the app in search of a low-cost, short- or long-term rental.

The user experience is the same as renting a typical Maven car (read about Bozi Tatarevic’s experience here). Open the app, locate your preferred car, travel to that location, unlock the car with your phone, and drive off. Owners needn’t meet the renter in order to size them up — GM takes care of that. It also installs the necessary unlocking device, takes photos, provides a $1 million insurance policy, and collects 40 percent of the revenue earned from the rental. Owner assistance is available from either Maven or OnStar.

It’s assumed the vehicle owner will make his or her loan payments by putting the car on the Maven rental market, choosing when it’s available, and for how much. GM claims owners can set a price within a range that’s up to 20 percent higher than a regular Maven vehicle — or 20 percent lower.

“Your car is one of the most expensive things you own. Sitting idle, it is a wasted asset,” said Julia Steyn, vice president of General Motors Urban Mobility and Maven, in a statement. “It’s time to put your car to work. Maven’s peer-to-peer offering is a smart way for owners to offset their vehicle investment.”

Of course, racking up extra miles with someone else behind the wheel also means these owners will hit their maintenance periods sooner, as well as add wear and tear to the vehicle — potentially lowering their resale or trade-in value. For lessees, it means using up more of your annual allotted miles. This could earn you a penalty in the event of an unexpected end-of-year road trip, assuming there’s no other option besides taking your own car. We hope would-be Peer Cars owners spend some time with a calculator before taking the plunge.

That said, Steyn’s words could certainly resonate with a number of people who see this as a way of getting out of working a second, low-wage job, or simply as a way of reaching the car payment finish line sooner.

GM plans to collect data from the three test markets before rolling out Maven’s Peer Cars in additional U.S. cities this fall.

[Image: General Motors]

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2 of 23 comments
  • Bimmer Bimmer on Jul 24, 2018

    What's next? Renting out your wife, while you're on a business trip or in a meeting, because you can't "use" her? /s

  • Ajla Ajla on Jul 24, 2018

    I only wear one set of underpants each day but I own like 30. Such a waste when all those other underpants could be rented out for big bucks. Anyway, I know where my hands have been. I wouldn't be keen on letting strangers feel up my machines.

  • Aidian Holder I'm not interested in buying anything from a company that deliberately targets all their production in crappy union-busting states. Ford decided to build their EV manufaturing in Tennessee. The company built it there because of an anti-union legal environment. I won't buy another Ford because of that. I've owned four Fords to date -- three of them pickups. I'm shopping for a new one. It won't be a Ford Lightning. If you care about your fellow workers, you won't buy one either.
  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"