ConsumerWatch: Startup Lets SFO Travelers Rent Out Cars While On Vacation
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Car sharing has arrived at San Francisco International Airport, and so far more than 650 travelers have tried it out.
Flightcar started up operations a few months ago in a large parking lot in Millbrae, a few miles from S.F.O. The start-up helps car owners rent out their vehicles when they go on vacation. Prices for rentals range from $20 to $40 a day; car owners usually collect between $10 and $20 for each day their vehicle is rented out.
In addition, the cars are washed both before and after the rental, and Flightcar replaces any gasoline that is used.
The business is the brainchild of 19-year-old Kevin Petrovic and two friends, who are delaying college while the business gets off the ground. Petrovic said the idea came to him during one of his frequent trips to an airport.
“I basically realized at the airport you have this one parking lot which has all the rental cars, and the adjacent parking lot which has all the long term parking. So why wouldn’t you make it the same one?” Petrovic asked ConsumerWatch.
Renters sign up for rentals on the Flightcar website. Both car owners and renters reach the Flightcar lot via a shuttle that operates round the clock.
On a recent weekday, first-time renter Linda Powell popped in to borrow someone else’s Honda Accord for $30-a-day. The Connecticut resident said she planned to take the vehicle to a wedding.
“I thought it was amazing and inspiring,” the Connecticut resident said. “I just love the green part of this. It just seems like such a circle of efficiency.”
Flightcar insures each car for up to one-million dollars. Petrovic said the owners insurance doesn’t come into play because the car is considered “for hire.”
Not every vehicle qualifies, but many will. Vehicles must have less than 150,000 miles on the odometer and be in good working condition. It’s okay if they have a scratch or two.
Renters must agree to drive fewer than 90 miles-a-day or pay a premium. And if a car gets ticketed while it’s being rented the renter is required to pay the fine.
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