Automaker General Motors is said to be planning a new peer-to-peer car rental service, similar to existing offerings by Daimler-backed Turo and startup Getaround, to debut as early as this summer according to Bloomberg. The service will debut in a test pilot set to begin this summer, under GM’s Maven mobility sub-brand, per the report, and will allow GM car owners to list their vehicles on the platform for short-term rental by other users when not in use.
This would be a variation on the Maven approach, which has focused thus far on on-demand short-term rentals of GM-owned vehicles, similar to how Zipcar or Enterprise CarShare works. Maven has also branched out into all-in rentals for service economy workers via its Maven Gig program, and now it looks like it could be further differentiating its growing mobility business with these peer-to-peer rentals.
It’s a natural progression for GM and Maven in many ways: Supply side, it makes sense to work with existing GM vehicle owners to offer more choice and variety to renters on its platform. Also, existing carshare provider Turo has been angling its platform as a lease or purchase incentive for new car buyers – renting out vehicles on its platform can defray the cost of ownership, after all, and its been talking to automakers about incorporating that cost deferment at time of purchase.
It sounds like GM is thinking that could be an advantage it can leverage for potential GM car owners, though that’s reading between the lines based on this early report with scant information, and knowing that Maven chief Julia Steyn has acknowledged in the past that the automakers knows millennials living in cities don’t want to buy cars, and the automaker is getting creative about how to adapt its business model to that fact.