It appears Zipcar is getting a big of competition, of sorts.
KGW-TV reports that Getaround, a so-called peer-to-peer carsharing service, will soon be coming to Portland after receiving a $1.7 million grant from the Federal Highway Association. The Oregonian‘s Joseph Rose also has coverage of the announcement.
Unlike “traditional” carsharing services like Zipcar, WeCar, or Hertz On-Demand (the last of which presently does not operate in Oregon), where a business owns (and insures) a fleet of vehicles and makes them available to subscribers for short-term rentals, with peer-to-peer carsharing owners of automobiles make their cars available to others to rent, and receive payment for the service. The Getaround service essentially provides a legal framework for this to occur, and a means for owners and renters to get together. Getaround also provides insurance to renters; a recent change in Oregon law absolves car owners who place their vehicles into peer-to-peer carshares from liability if the renter is involved in an accident.
Getaround’s website has more information on how the service, based in San Francisco, will operate.
Good news–anything which makes easier to not own a car is a good thing.