The cost of car ownership is increasing these days, which means drivers are in search of relief.
Whether driving their vehicle for rideshare services, like Uber or Lyft, for extra money or ditching their automobile entirely to rely on public transit and those same services, drivers have plenty of options — including renting out their vehicles through car sharing companies like Avail.
But for all the extra income that car sharing can provide, car owners have obvious questions about it. What happens if someone using your car gets into an accident? Or the borrower makes a total mess in the car?
Avail and other car sharing companies have thought quite a bit about these concerns and have specific benefits and procedures to reduce the risks to owners’ vehicles. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make money by sharing your car, let us walk you through the car sharing process — and just what kind of earning potential you might expect.
Can I rent my car out?
The process to share your car is straightforward, whether you’re considering doing it with your primary vehicle or a secondary car. You list your car through the car sharing app or website, drop it off with the keys and let other drivers use your vehicle to get around, run errands or take day trips. You’ll be earning money with your vehicle when you don’t even need to drive anyway.
So what is car sharing, exactly?
It’s using a third-party app or platform to rent out your vehicle. With Avail, the experience is completely contactless. After you list your car for sharing and drop it off at the lot of your choosing, you don’t need to do anything else until you pick it up. We vet drivers and manage reservations, key exchanges, cleaning and refueling your car to make sharing as easy for you as possible.
If that sounds enticing, Avail might be the best option for you. Our car sharing locations are in neighborhoods and downtown locations around Chicago and Denver, making it easy to find a lot near where you live or work.
Let’s walk through some major benefits of renting your car out.
Seven benefits of renting out your car
The ability to earn guaranteed income by renting out your car might be one of the biggest perks of using Avail. When you list your car for sharing for seven consecutive days or longer, you can earn at least $50 per week, guaranteed. If a borrower books your car, you get paid for each day of their trip. That means you can make well beyond the guaranteed amount if your car is popular with borrowers. But that guaranteed income is far from the only reason to use Avail. Consider the following additional benefits:
1. Not having to pay for parking
Parking is expensive, especially in cities like Chicago, where street and garage availability are at a premium. When you use Avail to share your car with others, you park it in our lot for free. It’s a great way to save money when parking your car, while also earning money.
Car sharing is also an excellent option for what to do with your car when you travel. You’re not using it, so why not share your car on Avail and skip paying for expensive airport parking?
2. Car cleaning is included
One major concern owners have with sharing their cars is ensuring they’re clean and ready to use upon return. Avail solves this problem for car owners by taking care of the cleaning before you pick up your car. When you pick up your vehicle, it’ll be just how it was when you left it.
3. Additional insurance through Allstate
If risking your vehicle in someone else’s hands makes you nervous, you’re not alone. But Avail has an answer for that, too. All cars used for trips through Avail enjoy insurance protection from Allstate. If an accident occurs during the reservation period, owners are covered with up to $1 million primary liability limits to provide peace of mind. With your permission, we’ll manage the claims process and facilitate any needed repairs with our trusted local auto shops.
4. Driver screenings through Avail
When you share your car through Avail, you don’t have to worry about vetting every potential borrower. We take care of that process. All Avail borrowers must have a valid driver’s license, be 21 or older and have a clean driving record. We also assess all potential borrowers for other known risk factors.
5. 24/7 customer support
If there’s ever a concern about your vehicle while it’s in someone else’s possession or on our lot, our 24/7 customer support team can help put you at ease. Whether it involves payments, damage to your vehicle, insurance claims or other questions, we’ll answer you promptly.
6. Avail Car Care Plan
Sharing your vehicle on Avail makes it eligible for the Car Care Plan, which is available to all owners free of charge. We’ll handle everything for you while your car is listed for sharing to help make the process as easy as possible.
If your car is shared and borrowed regularly, Avail will facilitate regular maintenance and share costs for most routine maintenance. Owners must take their cars for a third-party safety inspection to be eligible for the Car Care Plan. A passed inspection will get you covered maintenance for an entire year, while you are actively sharing with Avail.
7. Need my car
If you need to use your car while it’s listed for sharing, you still have access to it. You can check your car out any time during the listing period, as long as a borrower hasn’t booked it for a trip.
How to rent out your car
Renting out your car with Avail is a simple process, and setting up your account takes just a few minutes. Here’s how:
- Create your Avail account and share details about your vehicle to confirm its eligibility for sharing. That includes the make, model, vehicle identification number (VIN) and condition.
- Choose the Avail location and dates you want to share your car with others.
- Drop off your car and keys at the lot you chose.
Any owner who wants to share their car through Avail must meet eligibility requirements and have a valid U.S. driver’s license. Avail owners are also required to have collision and comprehensive coverage on their personal policy (Avail Plus owners are exempt from this requirement), and are responsible for meeting their state’s minimum insurance coverage requirements.
How is my insurance affected by sharing my car?
Each insurance company has different rules and policies for people who want to use their car for car sharing. Check with your insurance agent or provider to ensure you understand the rules. Some insurance companies may even drop your coverage if you use the vehicle for commercial purposes like car sharing.
Remember: Every Avail trip is protected by Allstate insurance coverage.*
*Avail owners are required to have collision and comprehensive coverage on their personal policy (Avail Plus owners are exempt from this requirement). All owners, including owners with Avail Plus status, are responsible for meeting their state’s minimum insurance coverage requirements.
Rent out your car with Avail
If you want to make additional money by renting out your car, Avail is one of the best options around. Between our guaranteed payouts, flexible scheduling and convenient locations, Avail minimizes the stress of sharing your car with drivers in Chicago and Denver. To learn more about the benefits of car sharing or to get started, download our app or use our website to start sharing your car today.
Frequently asked questions about renting out your car
How profitable is renting out your car?
It’s a complicated question that depends on:
- The length of the listing period
- How often your car is reserved and borrowed
- What type of vehicle you’re sharing
Standard cars, mid-size SUVs and vans will earn $20 daily when booked by a borrower, while large SUVs earn $25 per day. Even if someone doesn’t borrow your car, you will still earn guaranteed earnings: Avail guarantees $50 every seven consecutive days you share an eligible car. If your car is borrowed more frequently during the sharing period, you can earn more than the guaranteed amount.
Do you have to report rental car income?
Yes. The money that you earn by renting out your car is taxable income, which means you must report it. You can, however, deduct related expenses, such as maintenance, depreciation and more.
What happens if your car breaks down when you are renting it out?
If your car breaks down while someone is borrowing it, they have access to 24/7 roadside assistance through Avail. This can help with towing, jump starts, lockouts and winching or extraction.