Not using your vehicle? Here’s how you can make money from it

South Africans now renting out their cars for additional income.
Image: Shutterstock

Cash-strapped car owners can now rent out their private cars via the RentMyRide platform, much like homeowners use Airbnb to rent out rooms or their homes for additional income.

The national peer-to-peer car rental marketplace, which was offline due to Covid lockdowns, relaunched last year and has already seen a marked uptake from car owners and those looking to rent cars affordably. Similar to the Airbnb model, users decide the rate at which the car will be rented out, and need to upload photos of the vehicle when listing on RentMyRide. The car rental model has already proven successful for businesses in other parts of the world including Turo in the United States and Snappcar in the Netherlands.

In an environment where working from home has become more common, the opportunity to turn one’s car into an additional income source could be lucrative.

Linda Trim, director at Giant Leap, one of South Africa’s largest workplace design consultancies, says that by June 2021, an estimated 50% of the South African workforce was working from home on a full-time basis. As the pandemic continued larger companies have become more flexible, either allowing employees to work from home or implementing a hybrid model requiring two to three days in the office rather than the previous five-day-per-week working model.

Cape Town-based Linda Molepo started using RentMyRide in 2016, renting out a Toyota Avanza. Since then, her side hustle has expanded significantly. She now has four vehicles registered with RentMyRide – two Mercedes Viano buses, a Mercedes Benz C180 and a Toyota Etios.

“I was looking for a side hustle or a small business I could run on the side. I could consider myself lucky because my vehicles are regularly rented out. The last two years have been really difficult financially and although I could never have foreseen that we would have a pandemic or lockdowns, I am so glad I started using RentMyRide. The additional income really helped me financially survive the last two years,” she says.

Molepo says she has already referred four of her friends to the platform and they are also successfully earning a second income via RentMyRide. To list a car on RentMyRide, your car must be licensed and have less than 200 000km mileage.

“If you have a tracking device in your car, that is great. If you don’t, we can arrange a discounted fitment with Tracker, which is one of our partners. We also take out our own insurance on the vehicles and our verification of renters is vigorous,” says Sebastian Brokmann, chief executive of RentMyRide. Eligibility requirements for renters include a valid driver’s licence, a mobile phone in their name, a verified identity document and a fraud and credit screening.

The minimum rental period is two days. Brokmann says the service is typically used by people who are on business trips or simply want the convenience of a car for the weekend or a few days. On the site, you simply choose your location and the time period you want to rent the car for. A visitor to Cape Town wanting a car from January 27 to February 1 could rent a Suzuki Swift, for example, for R1 700 or R340 per day.

A quick search on the Avis website shows that the RentMyRide rates are competitive. The rentals for the same period via Avis for a small car range from R2 065 for a Renault Kwid to R3 429 for a Volkswagen Polo.

“Our platform is a win-win for both the renters and those wanting to monetise a depreciating asset sitting in their garage,” Brokmann says.

Brought to you by RentMyRide.

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