The Getaround Car Sharing Experiment (FAIL)

getaroundI bought a 2012 Honda Civic in September 2015 and listed it on the peer-to-peer car-sharing service Getaround.  

Here are my earnings for the first 3 months…
October: $422
November: $527
December: $276

Average monthly earnings: $408

Here are my monthly expenses…
Depreciation: $250/mo
Insurance: $33/mo
Getaround Membership: $20/mo
Parking Permit: $5/mo
Fuel: $20/mo (renter’s don’t always refill gas)
Car Washes: $10/mo
Time: 2 hrs/mo

Total monthly expenses: $338

Monthly profit = $70 for 2 hours of work

Failure #1: I bought a car on the newer end, thinking it would save me on maintenance costs. What I didn’t fully appreciate is that by dodging the maintenance pit, I was stepping right into the depreciation pit.  Time and mileage drops the price of a newer car pretty fast.

Failure #2: Participating on Getaround was an attempt to earn side income in the sharing economy, but owning a car doesn’t align with my values of supporting a resilient and sustainable future.  There are plenty other ways to earn side income without sacrificing my values, and I should have considered this more thoughtfully prior to jumping in.

Failure #3: There is a psychological cost when a stranger is driving your car around, and you aren’t confident in the resolution process if damage occurs.  On numerous occasions I emailed Getaround to be reimbursed for gas when renters didn’t top up the tank.  I never once got reimbursed.  I didn’t care so much about the gas money, but it created concerns about the response from Getaround if/when a serious problem did occur.

If you’re considering car-sharing for side income, hopefully my experience can help inform your decision.

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