General Motors is jumping on the peer-to-peer car share bandwagon, becoming the first automaker to join apps such as Turo and Getaround. The company already offers short-term rentals through their company Maven, but the addition of the peer-to-peer option allows private owners of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicles (model year 2015 or newer) to rent out their car when they don’t need it.
Maven, like Zipcar, allows pre-approved users to unlock cars in the Maven system using their phone, paying by the hour, day, week, or month. Now, General Motors is encouraging private car owners to list their car on the Maven app. The company installs keyless access (so you never have to pass off car keys to renters) and sets up an OnStar account for 24/7 support. General Motors provides insurance coverage while your car is rented.
The peer-to-peer option is being launched as a beta in Chicago, Detroit, and Ann Arbor, Mich., according to a company statement, but it hopes to expand the option to other cities in the fall. Maven currently operates in cities across the U.S., with 180,000 reservations since its launch in 2016.
“Maven is a platform designed for sharing and we’ve proven demand exists,” said Julia Steyn, vice president of General Motors Urban Mobility and Maven, in a statement. “In this beta, we are excited to offer GM owners the opportunity to capitalize on this demand and earn income by listing their vehicles.”
General Motors hopes the peer-to-peer option will complement its primary business of selling new vehicles. If the car becomes a source of income, one might be more willing to pay more upfront.
“What it allows you to do is truly afford maybe a more expensive vehicle because … this vehicle is going to make money for you,” Steyn told CNBC.