The car sharing sector is sprawling and automakers fear it could destroy its business model. But in a clever move, instead of fighting the system, they decided to join it and try to nail some profit as well.
Certain automakers – from Daimler to Ford or BMW – decided to take that approach and introduce their own car-sharing programs. They recently made another move, allowing customers (Ford and Mini, for now) to lend their own cars to others looking for a quick rent. The genius of such programs is that they’re actually designed to support the new vehicle purchase process, giving a budge to the customer that believes in time, some of the expense could be recuperated. But how about doing some of the math and seeing if profits are in order when lending your prized car to a stranger through a smartphone application?
It turns out the answer can range and will depend on whether your renter makes a short trip or a long commute. The returns will be plentiful under two circumstances – the borrower will not drive far and the owner of the car will turn a blind eye to maintenance, new tires, and the depreciation that comes with higher mileage. The lender must take into account that he needs to pay for insurance, taxes, and some other items whether or not his car is on loan, then the service provider also takes a charge. Also, the profit will go down massively when the car being shared is not an inexpensive city dweller, but rather a top-selling sport utility vehicle.