Car sharing is here in Seattle. All you need, like most of these types of businesses, is a cell phone to download the app. Uber, Doordash, and Airbnb already introduced the world to the platform. Now individuals and businesses are using the platform to rent out their cars. In Seattle, ride-sharing has become big business.
It was reported that State lawmakers passed new regulations on car sharing during this year’s legislative session, requiring certain levels of insurance for those renting out cars and placing certain liabilities on the companies themselves.
Zipcar, which uses dedicated spaces, is one that many are familiar with. In 2020, AAA placed cars in Seattle with its free-floating GIG cars. Two companies have run the peer-to-peer side of car sharing, in which individuals own and rent the cars from $50 a day for sedans all the way up to $700 for an Aston Martin. Turo arrived in 2012 and encourages multiday rentals. Getaround, which came in 2018, allows drivers to rent cars for hours at a time.
People to make better use of a car that likely sits idle more than 90% of the time. The platforms have always played host to entrepreneurial types who buy cars in order to rent them. Jordan started in 2017, after test driving a Tesla through Turo and seeing an opportunity, and said he was a rare breed in the city.
Car sharing is not new to Seattle. Zipcar got its start in the early 2000s. “Peer-to-peer” car sharing, often described as the Airbnb for cars, came to the city in 2012, via Turo, and also operates on the Eastside. Sidewalks are blocked, rights of way congested, the blog continued. At least three complaints have been filed against him with the city.
As ride share and public transportation have lagged, car sharing is on the rise. Laid-off workers took to the platform to earn extra income just as locked-down residents sought refuge away from the city.
Seattle seems to be ok with car sharing. The city has permitted around 400 cars with GIG. In June, the city announced a deal with Getaround to provide designated parking spaces for people renting their cars. Zipcar also still has its own spaces.
With Turo, the company is allowed to operate so long as drivers and renters follow the city’s parking rules. In Seattle, Turo has added close to 40,000 active users in just the last year, from about 64,000 in July 2021 to 101,000 in July 2022.