Renting your car out to pre-approved drivers to help cover your car payment? It could soon be an option for anyone who buys and finances a Ford through the company.
It’s all still very experimental, but it could have big implications for the ride-sharing business. Ford announced Tuesday they’d be rolling out the pilot program in six cities in the U.S. (Chicago, Portland, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley) and London, as well. It runs through November and will invite 14,000 customers here and 12,000 in England. In addition to the car sharing program, Ford is also looking to draw in urban commuters, and has developed a battery-powered bike that folds up and can be recharged inside any Ford vehicle.
Drivers who finance their Ford through the automaker’s credit arm will be able to offer their car up for short-term rentals through a digital platform called Getaround, which will determine the rental rate based on the car’s make, model, and location. An average rate would be from $7 to $12 an hour, complete with roadside assistance. Getaround takes a 40 percent cut, then pays the car owner. Ford says the drivers who will be renting the vehicles are pre-screened to make sure their driving record is clean.
Would you participate in this program if you financed your car through Ford? What are the implications of an automaker getting into the ride-sharing economy? What does this mean for companies like Uber, Lyft, and ZipCar? Do you feel safe renting your car out to a pre-screened driver or would you still have concerns? What’s in this for Ford? Do you think the program will be successful? Will other automakers follow suit and develop similar programs if it is?