Being such a lucrative market, the world of car hire is pretty fascinating. From some of the world’s , long-established brands entering the market, to technology startups disrupting the space, there is always something going on. This week, Gatwick Airport were named as the latest to be contributing to the sector.
Introducing a peer-to-peer car rental scheme, Gatwick are the latest airport to promote the ‘sharing economy’, allowing customers to rent out each other’s cars when away. The idea behind the scheme is to reduce their customers’ stress levels whilst on holiday; knowing that their car is in safe hands and not racking up huge parking fees. In addition, this scheme allows holidaymakers to make money when sunning themselves.
Teaming up with Car & Away for this venture, the airport’s ‘Rent & Earn’ scheme can see car owners enjoy £80 a week for renting their cars out. For larger vehicles such as 4X4s, an average fee of £160 will be charged. It is also worth noting that this service will work alongside the airport’s various other car hire options.
Gatwick Airport’s Head of Car Parking, Gary Wallace, said:
“We are always searching for ways to provide new, innovative and ground-breaking services. The new service offers passengers an alternative option when it comes to renting vehicles from the airport and gives them a chance to offset their parking costs. Our goal is to help as many people as possible to travel for less, in a convenient way, and airport peer-to-peer car sharing services are another way of achieving this.”
But, how does this P2P rental service differ from a conventional one? According to Wallace, it’s a lot simpler. All car owners have to do is register, with their car receiving a full valet whether or not it is hired out. Once a match is found, the Airport team will take the car to a dedicated parking bay located in the South Terminal to meet its temporary owner. Checks will also be made before and after the hire has taken place.
Equally as thrilled to see this scheme rolled out at the airport is Car & Away Founder and CEO, Andy Hibbert.
“We’re all used to, and comfortable with, the sharing economy. Many of us share our homes via Airbnb and some even share their pets. So, sharing a car while people go away isn’t such a big step. Especially when owners not only make money out of it, but benefit from dropping the car right next to the terminal and get a professional valet to boot!
“For renters we provide a great alternative service that saves time, money and provides you with the exact car you book – not a ‘similar’ one” he says.
Let us know what you think; would you trust a stranger to look after your car when you are away?