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How to start a car rental business
December 8, 2022

How to start a car rental business 

Want to make your car work for you? Try car sharing. It’s a simple, low-risk way to start your own car rental business. 

Whether you use your car often, seldom or sporadically, the monthly cost of maintaining a vehicle can add up. Car owners are responsible for auto insurance, gas, tolls, routine maintenance and repairs, registration fees, taxes and monthly car payments. You can help offset these costs and put extra cash in your pocket by sharing your car with other drivers in need of a local ride.

If you're thinking about putting your car to work, our guide will take you through the process of starting your own successful car rental business, step by step.

How does car sharing work?

There are many car rental businesses, but car sharing is probably the simplest and easiest option for people looking to boost their monthly income. Here’s why: Joining the ranks of a major franchise rental company, like Hertz, Budget and Enterprise, entails a hefty entry price tag, as well as a loss of autonomy, as you must abide by the company's established business model. You could start your own car rental business from scratch (or buy an existing one), but that again could involve a considerable financial investment (or loans) and endless paperwork. 

Car sharing, on the other hand, is simple and flexible, requiring minimal effort on the car owner's part. You choose a car sharing company in your area and decide when and where to make your car available to other drivers. Car sharing is generally short-term and peer-to-peer, meaning you're sharing your personal vehicle with someone just like you when you don’t need it. Think of it as an Airbnb, but for your car. 

Beware: Some car sharing companies require car owners to personally meet with drivers to hand over the keys and check documents. This process can be time-consuming, if not completely inconvenient, especially when companies like Avail take care of everything for you — pre-screening drivers, car exchange, cleaning, inspection and payment processing. You've got enough to think about.   

Most car sharing services are app-based, so you can start sharing your car with just a few taps. After that, there’s not much else to do except hand over your vehicle to trusted hands and monitor the incoming funds of your new car rental business. 

In the simplest terms, car sharing is about connecting people — car owners with drivers looking to borrow a car in a particular area or airport, with a company linking up the two parties.  

How to share your car

First, you'll have to choose a car sharing service in tune with how you plan to share your car. Next, review the company's terms and conditions, keeping in mind that you'll also have to answer questions about your car's make, model, mileage and insurance. If your vehicle is approved for sharing, it will be inspected to ensure it's in tip-top shape for sharing.

If you choose to start your car rental business with Avail, you'll need to meet these basic requirements:  

  • An automatic transmission
  • A gas-powered or hybrid engine
  • Less than 125,000 miles
  • A valid, up-to-date registration
  • A model year up to 9 years old
  • No visible damage or major maintenance issues
  • No open recalls

Avail services a growing number of local communities throughout the United States. You drop off your car, and we clean and get it ready for a borrower. After a driver borrows and returns your car to us, we’ll inspect it for any issues and clean it again before you pick it up. It's that smooth and simple.

Start your car rental business with Avail

As more people seek cost-effective modes of transportation, giving them access to your car when you're not using it is one of the easiest ways to generate extra income. And sharing your car with Avail is safe and secure. To start, we pre-screen all drivers who want to borrow with Avail and cover every trip with Allstate insurance. And, should the unexpected happen, borrowers have access to roadside assistance and 24/7 customer support when driving your car.