Want to earn some extra cash by working for Uber or Lyft, but don’t have access to a car? A new startup wants to help those without a ride rent a vehicle from someone nearby–and it just launched in Chicago.
HyreCar, a San Francisco startup that launched last year, expanded to Chicago last week to help carless residents make money in the on-demand economy. The two-sided marketplace lets owners earn money on their idle cars, and gives those without vehicles the ability to rent one by the day, week or month.
Drivers can search for available cars on the HyreCar platform, connect with owners on rental dates, and pay through HyreCar. Drivers can find cars that are already Uber or Lyft approved, and can begin earning money on those platforms once they sign up and pass Uber and Lyft’s background checks.
Car owners can list their vehicles on the platform, and earn money for a car that would have otherwise gone unused.
“We are essentially the Airbnb of cars,” said Marciano Kim, the CEO of HyreCar. “Our platform empowers drivers without cars to make money on the on-demand economy, and car owners to put their cars to work for them.”
For drivers, cars cost around $35-$65 per day, or $200-$250 for the week, HyreCar says. Owners’ earnings vary depending on location, price and demand, but the startup says owners could make as much as $36,400 per year. Insurance is included in all rentals, and there aren’t any sign-up fees or contracts.
The “Airbnb for cars” model isn’t exactly new. Getaround launched in 2009 and expanded to Chicago last year to connect people with privately-owned cars nearby. Like Airbnb, Getaround–which has raised more than $40 million–lets people list when their car is available, and it provides a marketplace for users to find the best deal and the type of vehicle they’re looking for.
But HyreCar is different in that it’s targeting the wannabe on-demand driver, which Kim says also includes people who want to work for Instacart or any other delivery service. Breeze, a Mark Cuban-backed startup, also targets on-demand drivers, but instead offers leases on 2015 Toyota Priuses, where drivers pay a $250 membership fee and $195 per week while they have the car. Breeze expanded to Chicago last year.
Kim said he isn’t concerned with the crowding market for peer-to-peer car sharing, and believes there’s enough of the on-demand pie to go around.
“I believe if you bring a product with a good value, that solves pain points, that addressed scalability with the right audience, and you win the consumer’s trust, ultimately you may have an opportunity to disrupt,” he said.