It seems easier than ever to find a way to get around town now that peer-to-peer car rental services and rideshare apps are available all over the US. Getaround is a peer-to-peer car rental service that’s quickly launching service in more cities, and it’s gearing up to be a big competitor in the app-based transportation world.
Getaround has two big features that set it apart from competitors: You can rent cars by the hour, and you can get into every Getaround car using the Getaround app. Most other peer-to-peer services don’t offer hourly rentals, and with most other services you have to arrange to meet the car owner to pick up the keys.
What is the Getaround experience like for the average renter? Getaround offered me a promo code to give the service a try at a discount, and I rented a Getaround car in Los Angeles to see how the service works. I also researched the ins and outs of the service and wrote a guide covering everything a renter might want to know: How to rent a Getaround car, how much it costs, how insurance works, and how Getaround compares to other car rental services.
What is Getaround? Basic facts
- Getaround is a peer-to-peer vehicle rental service
- Rentals are offered hourly or daily
- Rentals cost around $5 – $8/hour and up
- Ue the Getaround app to locate and unlock the car. The vehicle owner does not need to be present
- Getaround is available on Android and iPhone
- There is no membership fee
- Insurance is included in the rental cost
- Renters can be 19 years or older
What are the requirements to rent with Getaround?
- Must be 19 years old. For “Specialty” vehicles such as a Tesla, you must be 25 years old
- No major violations in the last 7 years: Alcohol and drug incidents, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving are considered major violations
- No more than two driving violations or accidents in the last 3 years
- If under 21, you must have a clean driving record with no incidents
Source: Getaround Eligibility
How much does Getaround cost?
Getaround rentals are typically priced by the hour, and are available anywhere from one hour up to several days or weeks. Getaround rentals usually cost around $5 – $8/hour. There is a booking fee that is 3% of the trip price, or $1.00 minimum. You pay for fuel and must return the car with as much fuel as you picked it up with.
The Getaround search tool shows an up-front price when you select a car and enter a rental period. To see how much a rental would cost in your area, check out the Getaround search feature. Find a car near you, enter a rental period, and see how much it will cost.
Included mileage: A maximum of 200 miles/day are included in the cost of your rental price. You pay $0.50 for every mile you drive over the allotted mileage.
One-time costs on your first trip: You will pay a one-time license fee of $10 to run a DMV check, and a $150 deposit will be held on your card until the end of your first trip.
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Age 19 and up can rent, but renters under age 25 pay more
Getaround allows drivers under age 25 to rent a car, but younger drivers pay an increased fee to cover higher insurance costs.
The under 25 fees add additional costs to the trip price:
- Age 19: 75% of trip price
- Age 20: 45% of trip price
- Age 21: 25% of trip price
- Age 22: 15% of trip price
- Age 23: 10% of trip price
- Age 24: 5% of trip price
Drivers age 21 and under pay a fairly steep fee, but once you hit age 22 the fee isn’t much.
Other Getaround fees
Cancellation fee: There is no fee if you cancel less than one hour after you book your trip, or if you cancel more than 24 hours before the trip begins.
If you cancel less than 24 hours before the trip begins, the cancellation fee is 50% of the trip price. You can not cancel or get a refund once the trip has begun.
Late return fine: $50/hour
Tolls, tickets, citations: You are responsible for parking tickets and other citations you get while driving a Getaround car.
Unauthorized driver fine: $250. Only the authorized Getaround member can drive the car!
Source: Getaround Fees
Other Getaround rules: Personal use, no smoking, and more
Getaround rentals are for personal use only. That means that you can’t use them for ridesharing apps or delivery apps unless otherwise specified by Getaround. Getaround has launched rideshare rentals in San Francisco, but no other cities currently offer that service.
Use the car for reasonable purposes and take proper care of it. Reasonable use and proper care means: No racing, no towing, keep it clean, don’t leave the windows down, no smoking or pets, and don’t put excessive wear and tear on the car.
Source: Getaround renter policy
You can use Getaround for Uber – In select cities
Getaround launched rideshare rental services in San Francsico, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia. In those cities, the Getaround menu has a ‘Drive With Uber’ section that displays vehicles that can be used for Uber. Getaround rideshare rentals must be used for Uber — no personal use allowed.
Getaround for Uber & Lyft: Use promo code “RSD” to get $20 off your first rideshare rental.
How does insurance work with Getaround?
Insurance is offered with every Getaround rental. It features a $1,000,00 policy that covers renters and vehicle owners. The insurance coverage includes primary liability, collision, comprehensive, theft, and uninsured motorist protection.
There is a $1,000 ‘damage fee’ that works similar to an insurance deductible. If any damage occurs to the car or personal property, or if you injure another person with the car, you must pay up to the $1,000 damage fee. For example: If you do $700 of damage, you’ll pay $700. If you do $2,000 of damage, you’ll pay the full $1,000 damage fee and insurance will cover the rest.
Renting a car from Getaround
What is it like to find, rent, and then drive a car using Getaround? Getaround contacted me and offered me a big discount on my first ride, so I rented a car in Los Angeles to see for myself how Getaround works, and how it compares to other car rental services.
Creating a Getaround account
To create an account, go to Getaround.com and click “Join.” You will be asked to login to your Facebook account and click a “Connect” button. Currently Getaround members are required to use a Facebook account to sign up, but they may allow signups with only an email address soon.
Next, complete your account by filling out basic personal information: Name, email, and zip code.
You can also create your account using the Getaround app. You’ll eventually need the app to find & unlock the car you rent, so it’s a good idea to download and set up the app before you start shopping for cars.
Selecting and booking a rental on Getaround
After you fill out your basic info, search for a car using the Search tool. Enter the start and end date of your rental period to see available cars. Available cars will appear in a list and on a map.
Click on the car listing to see photos and more information about the vehicle. This listing will let you know the general location of the car, what kind of features the car has, and how much the total cost of your rental will be for the selected time period.
The listing also gives you rules that the car owner has set. Some owners don’t allow pets, and smoking is prohibited in all cars.
There aren’t many options when you’re booking your rental; You simply pick the car, and the time frame. Other extra options to consider, like different levels of insurance or other upsells, aren’t available. I thought the simple options made the rental process faster and easier.
After you pay, your booking will show up under “Your Trips” inside the app and on the Getaround website. Visit Your Trips when you need to remind yourself of any of the trip details.
For my own rental, I found a nice looking Toyota Prius-C and booked it for 2 few hours for a cost of only $9.40. I’ve never driven a hybrid car before, so this was a good chance to see what that’s like. The Getaround promotion I used covered the cost of my rental, but I had to pay the one-time $10 for the DMV check.
Before you book your first rental: Add your driver’s license info and payment info
On your first rental, you’ll be asked to input your drivers license info, and payment info. There is a one-time license fee of $10 that processes your license info for security and insurance purposes. Getaround does a real-time DMV check and also cross references your identity with your Facebook account and credit bureaus to verify your identity and your driving record.
Picking up your Getaround rental
After you schedule and pay for your rental, you get access to a page containing full details of where the car is located, and where to find the ignition key. You also get your driver’s contact info in case you need to reach them.
You’ll know the general location of the car before you book it, but the exact location won’t become available until 15 minutes before the start of your reservation.
“Getaround Connect” is the technology that unlocks and controls the car. A small transmitter that attaches to a vehicle’s OBDII port enables GPS tracking, tamper protection, and starter disable. For the renter, this allows you to get in and out of the car with your phone, and to track the location of the car. For car owners, this gives you reassurance that Getaround always knows where you car is, and they can disable the starter if necessary.
When you arrive at the car, open up the Getaround app, select your trip, and you’ll notice a “Unlock and Inspect Car” button. Press that, and the doors of your car will magically open. You also get the chance to take photos of any damage, along with a text box to describe any issues.
My Prius-C rental was in perfect shape on the outside, and the inside was fairly clean too. I wanted to avoid any cleaning fees, so I uploaded a picture of somewhat-dirty front carpets.
When you’re out with the rental, you can choose to leave the key in the car or take it with you. I chose to keep the key on me, but if I had left the key in the car I could’ve gotten back in using the app. After driving my Prius-C rental around, getting a feel for how hybrid cars drive, then picking up some lunch, I dropped my rental off back where I picked it up.
Returning your Getaround rental
At the end of your rental, you simply return your Getaround car to the place that you picked it up. If the vehicle was parked on the street when you picked it up, you must return it to a zone that isnt subject to any ticketing or towing for 24 hours. You are liable for any ticketing, towing, or citations for the 24 hours after you return the car while it stays in the spot you parked it. I was able to park my car right where I picked it up.
When you exit the car, leave the car key where you found it, then lock the car using the app. That’s it! Leave the car and be on your way.
Return the car with as much fuel as it had when you picked it up. Getaround renters are responsible for fuel. You may be charged a $15 fee if you don’t return the car with as much fuel as when you picked it up.
The Getaround referral program offers free credits, and cash
Like most app-based services nowadays, Getaround offers a referral program that can help you earn free credits, or even cash. Referring new renters is rewarded with free rental credits. If you refer a new car owner, you’re rewarded with cash.
Is Getaround a good service? What are the benefits and drawbacks?
Where does Getaround stand on the list of other transportation services like Uber, Lyft, and other rental services like Turo? Overall, I found the experience to be very similar to Turo, with a few key differences that made it a lot more seamless.
The “Getaround Connect” technology is the true distinguishing feature of Getaround that is going to make it appealing to both renters and car owners. Everything is done from a smartphone, and there’s almost never any need to meet up with the car owner or renter.
The benefits of Getaround
- Hourly rental. Not many other rental services offer that. Turo doesn’t
- The cost is low for hourly rentals: Just ~$6/hour for many of the cars I saw available in LA
- The Getaround Connect feature eliminates the hassle of meeting up with an owner and worrying about keys
- Age 19 and older can rent. Drivers 21 and under pay a premium, but few other companies offer any rental choices to younger renters
The drawbacks of Getaround
- Daily costs can get high. The service seems like it’s intended for very brief rentals
- You have to travel to pick up the car, so if cars aren’t nearby it can be a challenge
- You can only do round trips. Getaround might not work for you if it’s inconvenient to return the car to where you picked up
Comparing Getaround vs Turo and Zipcar
|Price||$5/hour and up||$25/day and up||$8 - $10/hour|
|Rental Period||Hourly or Daily||Daily||Houry or Daily|
|Mileage Limit||20/rental hour, 200/day max||Set by owner. Typically 200/day||180/day|
|Minimum Renter Age||19||21||21, or 18-20 if affiliated with a University|
|Insurance||Liability and collision included in rental cost. $1,000 deductible||Liability included. Collision available with $500 or $3,000 deductible for additional cost||Liability and collision Included in rental cost. $1,000 deductible|
|Membership Fee||None||None||$7/month, $70/year|
|Vehicle Pickup||Renter travels to car||Renter travels to car. Owner can drop the car off for extra charge||Renter travels to car|
|Vehicle Drop-off||Renter returns car to pickup location||Renter returns car to pickup location. Owner can pick up the car for extra charge||Renter returns car to pickup location. One-way trips available in some cites|
|Fuel Expenses||Fuel costs not included. Renter returns fuel to original level.||Fuel costs not included. Renter returns fuel to original level. Fuel costs not included||Zipcar covers fuel expenses. Renter uses Zipcar gas card to buy fuel|
More information about other car rental services
When is a Getaround rental the right choice?
Getaround is a great value when you need a car for a short trip: Job interviews, beach trips, family outings, and extended test drives are all good use cases of Getaround. Once you need the car for more than a few hours, it might be worth price comparing with another rental service. Check out Getaround and see what kind of cars are available near you.