General Motors is partnering with a car-sharing startup called RelayRides on a new venture that will allow GM owners to rent out their idle vehicles via the OnStar service and their mobile phone. The program will launch first in California in 2012, before expanding to other markets.
RelayRides, a peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace lets auto owners choose to rent out their car when they’re not using it, with the car’s owner controlling the rate and availability through the online service.
It’s different from other car-sharing networks like ZipCar, for example, as it doesn’t have its own fleet – all sharing is peer-to-peer. And unlike former TechCrunch Disrupt winner Getaround, the company sends out its own reps to install the device in your vehicles. Now, with the new GM partnership, RelayRides will be able to leverage the built-in OnStar service to unlock the doors, control the engine and track the car. Chevrolets, Buicks, GMC and Cadillacs are all supported.
RelayRides takes 15% of the list price for itself, 20% for its $1 million insurance policy and the remaining 65% goes to the vehicle owner. If the borrower ever wrecks the car, RelayRides handles the insurance claim and your personal policy isn’t affected. Drivers are also vetted first, to verify their driving records are up to par.
RelayRides was founded in June 2010. The company currently operates in San Francisco and Boston. It plans to rollout to additional markets based on consumer demand.