Would you be willing to rent out your brand new car to strangers in exchange for a lower monthly payment on it? That’s exactly the deal that the Ford Motor Credit Company is offering select customers in six U.S. metropolitan markets and London, England through a new pilot program. This year, an estimated 14,000 Ford customers will be offered the opportunity to share their car when they’re not using it through the Getaround app, potentially earning enough to cover its entire monthly payment by doing so.
“There is consumer interest in sharing the cost of vehicle ownership, and this program will help us understand to what extent that interest extends to customers who are financing a Ford vehicle,” said David McClelland, vice president of Marketing at Ford Credit. “Realistically, most vehicles are parked and out of use much of the time. This pilot will help us gauge our customers’ desire to pick up extra cash and keep their vehicles in use.”
Here’s how the service works. You use the Getaround app to mark off times when your car is not available for rental, like during your daily commute. When the car is available for loan, you can either place the keys in a nearby lockbox or make yourself available to hand over the keys to someone in person. Pre-screened renters locate your car and pay you through the app. Vehicles typically earn about $5 per hour while rented, though Getaround takes a hefty 40% commission off the top.
Of course, there are some obvious (and a few not-so-obvious) drawbacks to loaning your car to a stranger. Extra miles add wear and tear to your car, meaning you’ll need to perform added maintenance. This can seriously add to your cost of ownership. All those extra miles added to the odometer will surely tank the vehicle’s resale value, so that’s something to consider too.
Still, if you’re looking for ways to ease the pain of the monthly payment, Ford’s new pilot partnership may be worth a look. It is being offered in Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Washington, D.C. through November 2015.
[Image credit: Ford]