private alternatives to car ownership, notably car clubs, have been spreading across North America and northern Europe.
National Geographic highlights one such club in San Francisco. The club is called Getaround and it offers a peer-to-peer car sharing service. Members of the service can rent other people’s cars for about $40. It similar to other Peer to Peer services like Airbnb for vacation accommodations.
The genius of these lending systems is that they recognize the potential of under-utilized resources. Airbnb lets you make money off an empty apartment, Getaround, an empty car. For example, the average car sits unused nearly 90% of the time, and even when it is used it is occupied by only one person. Why not let other people use it during that time? It is also a great way to offset the high cost of car ownership.
Car sharing services make economic sense to individuals who have alternative means of getting to work and investors are noticing. There were only a handful of car sharing companies in 2010. Today there are more than 30 companies worldwide. Getaround recently raised $13.9 million. Just one more reason why car ownership won’t be as important to my generation.