Edward Phipps has a 2015 Ford Fusion sitting in his Minneapolis driveway.
HyreCar has Twin Cities drivers who need wheels so they can work for Uber, Lyft or another ride-sharing company. Starting Tuesday, the California-based company will put them in touch.
Call it the Airbnb of the ride-sharing business.
In another innovation in the ever-evolving and expanding car-sharing industry, this service matches wannabe chauffeurs with people willing to rent out their private vehicles by the day, week or month.
With its foray into Minnesota, HyreCar now operates in 35 states. The company also begins service in Iowa and Hawaii on Tuesday.
“It’s a great way to make extra cash,” Phipps said, stoked about the prospect of making $250 to $300 a week. “If you like to meet people, this is a great opportunity.”
Company officials say car owners can make up to $11,000 a year — worry- and hassle-free because secure transactions take place on online.
“You don’t have to conduct a Craigslist back alley-type deal,” said Nate Ryan, HyreCar’s vice president of marketing. In fact, HyreCar got its start when one of its founders tried using Craigslist to rent out an idle vehicle. That failed because, without insurance in the driver’s name, the renter could not drive for Uber.
With HyreCar, that obstacle is eliminated. The company provides insurance to cover both parties: $100,000 in liability insurance and $25,000 property damage with a $2,500 deductible, Ryan said.
Owners such as Phipps list their vehicle and set the price, generally from $20 to $40 a day. They upload a photo and description of the vehicle and its features. Listings also must include copies of vehicle registration and an Uber/Lyft inspection document showing the vehicle is in safe working order and meets the company’s requirements.
For example, Uber requires drivers to have four-door vehicles that are less than 10 years old (or with fewer than 150,000 miles for vehicles between 11 and 15 years old). Vehicles must be in “good condition with no cosmetic damage” and have no commercial branding. Lyft says vehicles must be no older than 12 years.
To use HyreCar, would-be drivers have to be 21 or older and hold a valid driver’s license. They put in an application for a specific vehicle. Once an owner accepts, the renter receives electronic copies of the approved documents to put in their Uber or Lyft accounts and arranges a meeting to accept the keys. HyreCar runs a background check on the renter before they get the vehicle, said marketing manager Reese Moulton.
There’s no required minimum or maximum rental period, he added.
“Our mission is to employ as many entrepreneurs as possible,” Ryan said.
Vehicle owners earn passive income by renting their cars. Renters make money from fees they earn by driving from Uber or Lyft, minus expenses for gas and commission. HyreCar takes 15 percent of the agreed-upon rental price between owner and user.
Phipps has rented out vehicles in the past through Turo, formerly known as Relay Rides, and said it was a good experience.
“Am I nervous? Not at all,” he said. “I made some money off my extra car. Young people are not going to rent from Avis. They are going to rent from new sites like this.”