Chances are you have a car.
But maybe those car payments are majorly eating into your budget, or the price of gas is more than you care to pay. Or your car just sits there (I barely drive as a freelance writer working from home during the coronavirus pandemic), and you’re interested in earning a bit of side hustle income.
Whatever the case may be, Getaround can be a great way to earn some money by renting out your car (kind of like home-sharing but with a car). If you’re looking for a relatively painless way to earn some side hustle income, check out our Getaround review below to see whether it’s the right gig for you.
What is Getaround?
Founded in 2009, Getaround is a car-sharing company that lets you rent out your car when you’re not using it, effectively helping you earn some side income. Getaround is often cheaper and more flexible for the renter than traditional rental car companies, since users can rent vehicles by the hour or by the day. Currently, there are over five million users in over 300 cities and more than 1,000 car models to choose from.
If you’re wondering whether the company is legit, it is. Getaround provides a number of trust and safety checks to ensure both the car owner and renter will be safe. The company provides 24/7 service to help drivers get the assistance they need or answer car owners’ questions. Other features include real-time feedback on the condition of vehicles, up-to-date driver checks, roadside assistance, and comprehensive car insurance protections.
How does Getaround work?
Getaround makes it easy for car owners to rent out vehicles and for renters to access cars of their choice. As a car-sharing platform, Getaround uses something called Getaround Connect technology to find and unlock cars for people to rent.
Before you list your car for rent, you’ll need to sign up for a Getaround account. Once approved, a representative will install the Getaround Connect device in your car. You’ll still be able to access your car yourself by enabling it through the Getaround app or website.
Once the Getaround Connect device is installed, you’ll be enrolled in a free 30-day trial to see how you like renting out your car. If you decide to continue with Getaround after those 30 days, then you’ll need to pay a one-time $99 installation fee and a $20 monthly subscription fee for as long as the device is installed.
The Getaround Connect device is what allows a renter to unlock your car from their smartphone. You just leave your keys in the car, which is safe since the Getaround Connect device also prevents theft through an engine lock, GPS tracking, and tamper detection. You can also list instructions for the renter in the app, which may include where it's parking spot is located, where to return your car, and how to best operate it.
Prospective renters can search for available cars in the Getaround mobile app and pay to rent a car with their credit card. You have the right to cancel their request, but you’ll need to do so at least 24 hours ahead of pick up to avoid a cancellation fee. This is done with the perspective that you’re causing the prospective renter an inconvenience by canceling at late notice. The best thing to do is to keep your car’s availability calendar up to date and block out any personal usage times.
You’ll be responsible for making sure there’s fuel in the tank (Getaround highly recommends that the tank is full and that you document the fuel level with a photo) before the renter picks the car up, and the renter will be required to return your car with the same level of fuel. In the event your renter doesn’t fill your fuel back up to the same level it was when they picked the car up, then Getaround has a reimbursement policy to repay you, the car owner.
How much can you earn with Getaround?
According to the company, you can earn “hundreds of dollars each month.” The rate for your car is automatically set using Getaround’s algorithm. The algorithm sets the price based on factors such as the year, make, and model of your car, as well as its location and the demand for vehicles in your area. Prices will fluctuate over the course of any given day, but owners in certain markets may be able to set a minimum daily price for their vehicle.
Getaround is currently offering potential guaranteed earnings (if you’re eligible) through its Go Time and Weekender Guarantee programs. These programs require your car to be available for specific periods of time. According to Getaround’s calculator, if you live in Washington, D.C. and own a 2015 Honda Accord, you can earn a minimum of $5,680 (post-commission) from August 2019 through the end of December 2019 if you have your car available for one weekend or holiday; two weekdays or non-holidays; and six full weekend days or holidays each month. Again, these potential earnings will depend on your car, location, and season.
Car owners are paid on the 15th of every month for earnings for the prior month by check or PayPal. Getaround pays itself a 40% commission for its service that helps pay for insurance and other overhead charges, such as the 24/7 roadside assistance.
Maximizing your earnings with Getaround
We can safely assume that the more your car is available, the more chances someone will rent it — and the more money you’ll earn. Aside from that and the incentives mentioned above, here's how to make money with Getaround:
- Ensure your car rental listing has detailed instructions on parking and how to operate your vehicle so it can be kept in good shape, saving you money on maintenance fees
- Do your own maintenance or repairs on your car
- Watch for any promotions Getaround might offer
- Make sure you’re clear on your schedule, as canceling a renter’s request means you’ll need to pay a cancellation fee
Reviewing your renters
Renter reviews aren’t displayed publicly on the renter’s profile. But giving an honest review of renters will help Getaround ensure its members are held to a high standard and that Getaround can take action if need be.
Once a trip is completed, you can log into your account to review the renter on your owner dashboard. You can select from three choices — that you trust the renter, that you’re not sure, or that you don’t trust the renter to rent your car again. If you give positive feedback, you’ll also have the option to send a private message to the renter to let them know you trust them.
For negative feedback, there will be a dialogue box where you can recount in detail why you don’t trust that person. An internal report will be sent to Getaround so it can review the incident. The renter won’t directly see your negative feedback. Depending on what Getaround determines in its incident review, it may take action, or that person may still be able to request to rent your car in the future.
If you submit neutral feedback, then you’ll be asked for feedback again if that renter completes another trip with you. That way, you can provide feedback once you have a clearer sense of their trustworthiness.
How to keep your car safe
First, you should know that drivers are vetted before they’re allowed to rent cars through Getaround. The company performs a screening to identify a driver’s identity, driving record, and credit history. It looks at sources of information like the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Facebook, and others. And, of course, it ensures all drivers have a valid driver's license.
But since you’re responsible for maintaining your car, you may be wondering what happens if a renter doesn’t return a vehicle. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there’s much you can do proactively other than participating in the review process.
The good news is that Getaround charges rental fees to drivers in the event that your vehicle is returned in a less-than-desirable condition. You can submit a claim to the Getaround claims team and get reimbursed once you provide evidence that the repairs have been completed, such as a receipt and photos of your car.
Here are some of the reasons why you could be reimbursed:
- Your car was returned excessively dirty.
- Someone smoked in your car.
- Loss or damage to the vehicle occurred.
- The driver didn’t properly return your car.
- The renter incurred a traffic or parking ticket.
- Your car was returned late.
Common questions about Getaround
Does Getaround have a mileage limit?
All listings on Getaround have a base mileage included with each trip depending on how long the driver intends to rent the car for — up to 20 miles each hour for a standard vehicle with a maximum of 200 miles a day and 10 miles for each hour for a specialty vehicle with a maximum of 100 miles a day.
If the renter goes over the limit, then there will be additional charges to compensate for maintenance costs. For standard cars, the renter will be charged an extra $0.50 per mile over the allowed limit. This goes up to $5.00 per mile for specialty cars. You’ll be reimbursed at $0.30 per mile or $3 per mile over the allowed limit for standard and specialty vehicles, respectively.
How much do you make on Getaround?
The answer depends on where you live, the type of car you own, the available hours you list for the car, and whether you can take advantage of Getaround’s promotions.
Getaround has two different types of pricing — predictive and hourly — and you’ll be subject to one or the other depending on where you’re located. Both options will automatically adjust to Getaround’s recommended rate based on your car’s make, model, and year, plus the demand in your area. Getaround may also automatically adjust rates based on peak demand hours and the time of the year. Whatever the rate is, you’ll get to keep 60% of it.
Two new incentives — the Go Time and Weekender Guarantee — have also been introduced by Getaround. You could be eligible for both promotions depending on the type of car you own, your location, and the time of year. These promotions guarantee minimum earnings for renting your car, though you’ll need to check Getaround’s website for the terms and conditions.
Can I use Getaround for Uber?
Yes, you can! Uber and Getaround actually have a partnership. First, you need to be cleared to drive by Uber. After you've done that, you can then log into the Getaround app to search for cars. You can only book cars that are listed under the Drive with Uber section of the app; if you break this rule, you risk being kicked out of the program. The cool part is you get your first hourly rental for free, for up to 12 hours.
Unfortunately, Getaround with Uber isn’t available in all cities, just these so far:
- Los Angeles
- Portland, OR
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C.
Does Getaround include renters' insurance?
Yes, the 40% commission you pay to Getaround is partially to help pay for insurance. It works much like a personal auto insurance policy — when a renter uses your car, they’re covered for up to $1 million by a company called Broadspire. This policy includes comprehensive, collision, and liability coverage.
The insurance policy covers both you and the renter during an active trip. It does have a $1,000 damage fee per incident that the renter will be responsible for should something happen. If the car in question is an exotic one or a new car with an MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) over $80,000 or a classic vehicle that’s over 35 years old, the damage fee goes up to $2,500.
Which is better, Getaround or Turo?
Getaround and Turo have a similar business model. They're both non-traditional car rental companies that allow vehicle owners to rent out their cars to vetted drivers when they're not using them. Turo is currently available in more cities around the world, but Getaround is catching up. Both offer a great opportunity to make some extra cash without much effort or hassle.
How to sign up for Getaround
Before signing up for Getaround as a car owner, you’ll need to make sure your car is eligible to be listed on the website. Your vehicle must be a 2008 model or newer; have 125,000 miles or less on the odometer; be a private passenger vehicle with a minimum of four wheels; and seat eight or fewer passengers.
If that sounds like your car, just click here to go to the Getaround.com sign-up page and start filling out the form. You’ll need to enter details about your car and where you’re located by typing in your ZIP code. Once you’ve completed the form, a customer support representative will follow up with next steps. As mentioned earlier, if you’re approved for the program, then you’ll schedule a time for a representative to install the Getaround Connect device in your vehicle.
Other side hustles to consider
Maybe you don’t have your own car or don’t feel like renting yours out. If you’re a pet lover, you can get paid to walk dogs for a nice sum of money. Services like Rover let you set up a profile that includes the dog walking or pet-sitting services you have on offer. It’s a flexible side hustle, as you can choose your own hours and the types of clients or pets you want to work with. Rover provides 24/7 support, including vet assistance. The website also claims you can earn up to $1,000 a month, which is a nice chunk of change.
If you’d rather earn extra money from the comfort of your home and are pretty tech-savvy, becoming a virtual assistant might be worth it. A virtual assistant is someone who provides online administrative support. Tasks can range from answering emails to setting up blog posts to creating graphics all the way up to transcription services. You can start your own website and reach out to business owners yourself, or you can try working for a virtual assistant company like Belay.