Getaround Review

Getaround is a straightforward peer-to-peer platform that beats the competition with their hourly rates, which are perfect for shorter trips. However, the high fluctuation of rental prices may turn off users who prefer predictable rates.

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The Good

Peer-to-peer platform with an hourly rate

Getaround lets you rent vehicles from other people who want to earn income from their idle cars. This peer-to-peer system gives you access to many types of vehicles but is typically geared toward longer-term rentals of more than one day. Getaround is unique in that it gives renters an hourly rate option, which enables much shorter trips, whereas companies like RelayRides only uses daily and weekly rates. So, with Getaround, you can rent that luxury car for a couple hours on the town instead of paying for a full day.

Carkit easy access system

With some other peer-to-peer platforms, the renter must physically get the keys from the vehicle’s owner, which doesn’t work if the owner is unavailable at the time you need the car. Enter the Getaround Carkit. This kit is a near field communications system that works with the renter’s iPhone app to allow secure access to the vehicle without the owner nor the keys being present. Each Carkit is equipped with GPS tracking technology, tamper detection, and optional engine immobilization.

Advanced identity verification

Getaround works hard to verify the identity of each user by integrating with every state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to run secure automated driver record checks in real time. This is done manually in the case of international driver’s licenses. In addition, a user’s driving record is cross-referenced with Facebook, the credit bureau, and 16 other points of reference to ensure users are using their real identities online. Getaround’s evident dedication to security and safety offers both renters and owners the peace of mind needed to participate in a social car sharing service.

Owners choose their own renters

Getaround knows it’s important for you to be comfortable with the person renting your car. Each time you get a rental request, you see the renter’s name, photo, and past ratings and reviews. You then choose whether or not you’re comfortable renting your car out to them. If you decide to rent to them, you choose between meeting that person and physically handing them the keys or, alternatively, equip your car with the Getaround Carkit so the renter can remotely unlock your vehicle with their mobile phone.

The Bad

Rental rates vary wildly

Because Getaround is a peer-to-peer system, car owners set their own hourly rates to rent their vehicles and, especially because Getaround takes a 40% commission on the sale, some owners may set their prices high. People value their cars differently, resulting in non-uniform pricing for similar vehicles. A Prius near you might be significantly more expensive than one on the other side of town. If price is of chief importance to you, these price fluctuations may turn you off, although you can still definitely find a great deal.

Lacking Android app

The Getaround service does not offer an Android app to complement their iPhone app. If you’re an Android user, consider using the web portal to book or change a reservation. If you have to access the site on your phone, you have to access it through a browser instead of an app, which isn’t as easy to use nor navigate. Luckily, the Carkit system still works with any smartphone with access to a web interface, so Android users won’t miss out on this feature.

The Details

General Info

  • Age Requirement: 19
  • Availability: San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, Austin, San Diego
  • Free Daily Mileage Limit: 200

Rates And Fees

  • Annual Fee: None
  • Cancellation Fee: Full trip amount + $30 - $60
  • Daily Rate: Varies by owner
  • Damage Fee: Cost of damage
  • Deposit: None
  • Excess Mileage Fee: $0.40/mile
  • Hourly Rate: Varies by owner
  • Late Fee: $50/hour (up to $500)
  • Low Fuel Fee: $8/gallon + $30
  • No-Show Fee: Full trip amount
  • One-Time Sign Up Fee: None

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