FlightCar is ready to change the dynamics of airport car rental and parking in the world. Similar to Airbnb that brought the revolution of renting out empty rooms in your house to travelers and tourists, FlightCar will do the same for unused automobiles. Consumers travel around the world each day leaving their cars parked at lots provided by the company near airports. FlightCar then rents those cars to the people travelling to and from that airport at a much lower rate compared to traditional car rental agencies.
FlightCar is a revolutionary idea which seems to have taken the inspiration from Airbnb. FlightCar enables anyone to make money by renting out their car instead of letting it sit in their driveway or accumulate parking fees for the time they are out of town.
FlightCar was launched in 2013 and it is slowly expanding into airports across the United States. The company started its operations from San Francisco International airport and has expanded to Boston’s Logan airport, Los Angeles International airport, with many others coming soon. The company is still in its early stages but it is expanding quickly.
Airbnb has become a billion dollar enterprise with just an idea and effective operations. Airbnb is managed mainly through the web and does not require any personnel to be presented at the time of renting. FlightCar is slightly different because it needs to have employees at every airport for servicing the car which is brought in and offer pick and drop services from the airport.
FlightCar is bringing a new wave of sharing economy where people share their assets in a marketplace and earn good money out of it. It will join Uber, Lyft and Airbnb which have similar business dynamics. It is a simple idea which is both beneficial for the company as well as the owner of the car. Owners also get free a parking space, a free car wash and a certain percentage of the revenue. It does not get any better than this because airport parking can cost as much as $30 per day.
With FlightCar you do not pay for parking, instead you make money by doing nothing. Owners do not have to worry about their car as well. FlightCar provides up to $1 million worth of liability coverage and insurance against theft, collision and damage. It is definitely a win-win situation for the owner. There is a catch though, not all cars are rented out so you might be a little disappointed when you come back from your trip and your car did not make you any money.
This is something you shouldn’t be worried about if you are a frequent traveler. The idea of FlightCar is catching on and soon it could be the go to service such as Airbnb and Uber. In that time, FlightCar might run out of cars to rent but you will definitely earn a few bucks.
A service like this has never been seen before at airports. Instead, car rental agencies create monopolies in different cities charge an extremely high rental price for their cars. It can become difficult for someone on a tight budget to rent a car at such a high price. FlightCar is offering this service at a much lower rate.
FlightCar is extremely easy to use. Car owners create an account on FlightCar’s website or app and provide basic information about themselves and their car. The day you are flying out of town, you bring the car to FlightCar’s lot which is located near the airport along with other required documentation. FlightCar thoroughly checks the car before accepting it for rental. The inspection ensures that the car is in good shape and it will not break down on the road. Once everything is done, a driver will drop you off at the airport and bring the car back to the lot. Before renting the car out to a renter, FlightCar checks the person’s driving history in order to protect the owner’s investment. When you get back in town, a driver picks you up from the airport and you earn a fair share for renting out your car.
There are risks involved in renting out your car to a complete stranger but FlightCar is providing ample insurance if anything goes bad. FlightCar has created a lot of buzz in the tech industry and it is looking to expand into as many airports as it can.
The company has received a total funding of around $20 million with the latest Series B round in September last year. FlightCar raised $13.5 million through GGV Capital, Comcast ventures, General Catalyst Partners, Soft Bank Capital and First Round Capital. The new funding will allow FlightCar to further expand in to new territories in the future.
The plan is to spread around the world as Airbnb did. Car rental industry is quite big and profitable and it is currently being ruled by a few major players in the United States. FlightCar is planning to give them a tough competition and grab as much market share as it can.
The company offers guaranteed low prices and a price matching policy. If any other agency is providing the same car or a car from the same category at a lower price, then FlightCar will match that price. With FlightCar you can rent a car for as low as $15 a day. On average you will save around $5 per day if you rent through FlightCar compared to other car rental agencies.
If you want your car to be rented out then make sure it is well maintained and clean. The better maintained your car is, the more chances of it being picked by the renter.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryan Tropeano is a senior producer and a regular reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Washington D.C. and loves all things Tech.