In recent months, AirBnb has become increasingly popular. Just in case you are not familiar with this new site, it basically allows people to rent rooms or even whole houses from other people just like themselves. And, while there are some potential dangers and risks involved, most people feel that it is an easy and cheap way- typically much cheaper than a traditional hotel stay- to find a place to stay when traveling. Many people are wondering, however, if the AirBnB model of doing business will affect other industries, such as the car rental industry. Here, we'll cover a few of the ways that it could potentially impact or not impact this particular industry.
A Risk Too Great
To start off with, if you are thinking of trying out one of the Airbnb style rental car companies- ones that let you borrow cars from other people- or if you're a rental car business owner worried about losing out, you might want to check those worries at the door!
Some companies that have followed this model have run into problems and big lawsuits when people died while using the borrowed cars and/or wrecked them totally. Not only is this a really sad thing to happen, but it is also something that could really ruin a person's car, and, if you check most auto insurance quotes comparison options, you will find that they typically don't cover another driver using the car, especially if the car owner is gaining monetarily from doing so.
This all poses such a serious risk to the car owner that, until these business models become very popular, if they ever do, and until insurance companies start to take them into consideration, if they ever will, people offering car rentals probably do not have to be concerned about losing business.
Drunk and Impaired Driving
Even if you're not specifically concerned about being "on the hook" if another driver damages or wrecks your car- and really, that only applies in certain states, consider how you might feel if someone using your car engaged in drunk or impaired driving. You'd probably be horrified, especially if this led to an incident which then led to the death or serious injury of someone else. That's exactly how the average driver would feel, and most drivers, if they are smart, think about these kinds of things.
For this reason, you probably don't have to worry too much about losing out on business as the owner of a car rental company. These kinds of incidents are bound to crop up and, as they do, more people are going to be turned off of renting out their cars, if they don't already, which would ultimately set the business model up for failure.
Theft is a Real Concern
One final thing to consider is that, when people rent out their cars to others, they have no real protection. They might never get them back if they lend to an unscrupulous driver. Given that most states aren't as keen to go after car thieves if the keys were willingly handed over, many people are going to be rightfully concerned about whether or not they will get their keys (and their cars!) back, another thing that could lead this business model into serious failure. Plus, even if whole cars aren't stolen, people could still lose out on property they left in their cars.
Ultimately, most people are too cautious to let someone drive their car. And, for those who aren't, the risks will probably catch up with them, and, as these things are publicized, this business model is likely to fail, which should ultimately lead to small businesses that offer rental cars coming out on top.