Proposed law would let drivers rent out their cars

April 28, 2010 7:33:55 PM PDT
Car sharing 2.0 could be on its way to California. Lawmakers are considering a bill that would clear the way for individual car owners to rent out their vehicles.

Established non-profit City CarShare is joining forces with a new company called Spride Share, hoping to take car sharing to the next level by letting individual car owners rent out their vehicles.

"You're not using it anyway so why not make some money off of it," Spride Share CEO Sunil Paul said.

The problem is, they need to change the law to do that.

Right now letting anyone else use your car in exchange for money is considered commercial use, and your insurance policy can be canceled for that.

So Assm. Dave Jones, D-Sacramento, has introduced AB 1871 -- it would protect individual policies and allow companies like Spride Share carry a separate policy for when the car is shared.

The Association of California Insurance Companies supports the bill.

"I'm very excited at the prospect of car sharing throughout the state of California, affording people an alternative to having to purchase a car in some cases," Jones said.

In addition to reducing individual's costs, Jones says car sharing reduces emissions and congestion.

For nervous owners, usage can be limited to a social network of their choosing.

Paul says many details have yet to be worked out, but owners could probably make hundreds of dollars a day. The nicer the car, the more money.

"It would actually be an opportunity for me to buy a new car and have some of the costs paid for and I'm also confident that I would be able to rent it," driver Josh Rosen said.

Others are less enthusiastic.

"I don't want my car driven by someone, I take good care of it, I don't want someone to drive it whatever they feel like and destroy it," Puru Muthuluru said.

If passed, the bill would not go into effect until late summer and then it would be another six to nine months to get the pilot going.


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