Cars sit idle most of the time, but the decentralized ledger system might be the key to letting people safely and easily monetize their vehicles while they’re not using them.
Turo is a peer-to-peer car rental marketplace that currently lists about 150,000 vehicles. The way it works is simple. As a consumer, I don’t need to go to Avis or Budget to rent a car—I can rent my neighbor’s vehicle for cheaper. And as an owner, I can make money to pay off a car’s cost just by agreeing to share it. Turo (formerly known as RelayRides) estimates that renting out a new Honda Civic for 14.5 days a month earns enough to pay off a standard car loan over 72 months. Turo thus claims to be “changing the economics of car ownership. “The only catch is that, as a owner, I still need to give up a fair amount of economic value. Owners “typically receive” 75% of the amount paid by renters, according to the website, which means giving one in four dollars of everything I might earn to Turo. As with much of the sharing economy, you have to be willing to share a lot with the platforms to share with your friends. Just ask Uber drivers. They will typically sacrifice 25% of what customers pay just for the privilege of being part of the car-hailing giant’s digital matrix (perhaps more).