General Motors has announced a new service, via OnStar that enables drivers to rent out their own under-utilized vehicles.
In conjunction with RelayRides, a Boston-based car-sharing firm founded in 2010, the service will enable vehicle renters to locate a particular vehicle and unlock the doors remotely, via their smartphone. In order to make this possible, RelayRides developers were given access to a number of OnStar services.
And, perhaps in the spirit of these tough economic and some may argue opportunistic times, GM said that by using RelayRides, owners of Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC vehicles have the potential to “earn hundreds of dollars a month.” For those looking at purchasing a new vehicle, the program gives them a chance to “rent” a vehicle to see if it suits their requirements.
Additionally, for consumers that are interested in but are not yet willing to purchase an electric vehicle, the RelayRides program presents a good opportunity to sample cars like the Chevrolet Volt, without a significant upfront financial commitment. By providing a “first taste”, as it were, such programs could provide a good opportunity for sustained growth in Volt sales over the longer term, as well as promoting less overall vehicle use via car sharing.