Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

Need to make some extra cash? How about renting your car by the hour?

by Patt Morrison

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A mobile app would allow RelayRides members to unlock G.M. vehicles that are registered with the start-up and subscribed to OnStar. RelayRides

A lot of things can be rented by the hour, and now General Motors wants your car to be one of them.

GM is teaming up with a small San Francisco based company, RelayRides, to offer peer-to-peer, short-term car rentals. Here’s how it works: starting next year, GM owners who subscribe to OnStar post their vehicle for “rent” on RelayRides’ website. The owner sets the price and supplies the gas. A renter uses OnStar’s global positioning technology to locate the vehicle, and then he or she uses a smartphone “app” to unlock the car and get the key hidden inside.

RelayRides takes a 35 percent cut and offers a $1-million dollar insurance policy. If things goes well, the program may be expanded to other cities. What’s in it for GM? The auto manufacturer hopes the program will give them a bit more visibility and market share in California. The big question is, will it work? GM’s vice chairman for corporate strategy, Stephen Girsky, admits that “peer-to-peer car sharing is in its infancy. We don’t know if it’s going to work or not.”


What about you? Do you leave your car sitting in the parking lot at work for eight hours or more a day? Would you be up for making a little extra cash renting it out by the hour, or does the thought of someone driving around in your car make you a little queasy?


Andre Haddad, CEO of RelayRides

Bob Tiderington, manager at GM Business Initiatives

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