New Car Sharing Service That Hooks Up Car Owners With Renters Is Sweet, But Is It Green?


photo via boston herald

Among the car sharing services I use Zip Car. It's cheap, it's convenient, and it saves me from the burden of owning my own vehicle. But a new service coming to my neck of the woods, RelayRides, has piqued my interest. The service hooks up car renters with car owners, and the hourly costs are split between RelayRide and the car owners.RelayRides, which Google Ventures has invested in, has been up and going in Boston for half a year. The car owner sets the price, depending on what they determine the market around them will bear. They keep 65 percent of the total rental fee, and RelayRides takes a slice of 15 percent. The remainder goes toward insurance.

Here's a video with user testimonials:

Green credentials?
Although I'm a regular user of car sharing services, I'm skeptical of their claims to be green. Their argument is that cars are shared, meaning that individuals need not purchase and maintain their own vehicles. Fair enough. But a car in use with multiple renters, as opposed to a car that sits idle for most of the day, consumes more fuel and emits more CO2. I'll need to see some hard numbers from car sharing services before I buy their green claims.

More on car sharing:
Electric Car Sharing Service Announced in Paris : TreeHugger
Zipcar iPhone App Makes Car-Sharing Even Better (as Long as You Don't Abuse Remote Honking)

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