Here's an interesting concept aimed at young drivers: Car rentals by the hour from private owners.
Many young people are saddled with a huge college debt, and in this economy they may have to work menial jobs to make ends meet. A new car is not at the top of their wish list. So what they're calling a peer-to-peer rental program might draw some interest. The Washington Post tells us about Ford's program. Take out:
The car-sharing program, running now through November, will cover cars, trucks and SUVs in six of America's younger cities: Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago and Washington. The Ford-financed vehicles are rented to pre-screened drivers through Getaround, an Airbnb for cars, for anywhere between $5 and $9 an hour.
Getaround takes a 40 percent cut, but Ford gets a few perks, too: The car owners get more money to pay off loans, and the renters take a test drive that could persuade them to buy a Ford, if they ever buy a car at all.
How many people would want to rent out their vehicles? There's an auto insurance company currently running a TV commercial featuring a lady looking me in the eye telling me I named my car "Brad" and that I love Brad. Somehow that doesn't really square with the idea of allowing a stranger to handle Brad out on the road. Insurance notwithstanding, renters generally don't treat rented property as they would their own.
But what do I know? I've got a vehicle I've owned for 27 years, and it's part of the family.
In any event, if you want to put your car in the pool go sign it up. Maybe Brad needs a change of pace.