Got a car you don’t ever really drive? Wanna not pay for parking or worry about shuffling it around on the street every couple of days? Have an interest in actually making some money from that car that you’re not actually using while it’s sitting around on the street?
Well, car rental startup FlightCar might be able to help you out with the launch of a new program in which it keeps users’ cars for a month at a time and rent them out to travelers. The program, called FlightCar Monthly, is designed to appeal to a group of users who own a car in or near the city of San Francisco and find it kind of a hassle and want to profit off of that asset.
It works like this: car owners submit their cars to be rented from the airport, and someone from FlightCar comes and picks the car up and keeps it in the startup’s secure parking lot near the airport. Travelers are then able to rent that car during the month that FlightCar has it.
Depending on what type of automobile you have and how new it is, FlightCar is offering between $150 and $400 in guaranteed payments to rent the car out for the month. That is a slight deviation from the startup’s usual peer-to-peer plan, where travelers drop their cars off when flying out of town for blocks of time, and get free parking and a small bit of money if the car is rented out while they’re gone.
But let’s say the owner wants to get away for a weekend? What happens then? Well, car owners can use their car for free for up to four days per month, if it’s available during that time. If not, the company will offer users a car in the same class for use.
Anyway, for FlightCar, this is a way for it to boost the number of cars it has to rent, while also ensuring more regular inventory. In fact, according to CEO Rujul Zaparde, it’s the supply side of the equation that FlightCar has had the most trouble with — the marketplace has been mostly sold out since launch.
The new program was launched just about a week after car-sharing marketplace RelayRides started moving in on FlightCar turf with an airport program of its own. At least for now, however, RelayRides isn’t paying car owners leaving their cars with its airport service — just giving them free parking.
FlightCar has raised $6.1 million from investors that include General Catalyst, Softbank Capital, First Round Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, SV Angel, Brian Chesky, Ryan Seacrest’s Seacrest Global Group, Alexis Ohanian, Garry Tan, Harj Taggar, Emmett Shear, and Erik Blachford.