flightcar
FlightCar is trying to calculate a big unknown: how much is it worth to someone to make their vehicle available to strangers, even if said vehicle doesn't actually get rented (and thus brings in no money to FlightCar). Apparently, the number is somewhere between $150 and $400. The company started small, with an offer of free airport parking in San Francisco, as long as you let others drive your car when you are out of town. Now comes the bigger deal: paying you to make your car available to rent at any time.

Available in San Francisco and Boston, FlightCar announced something called FlightCar Monthly earlier this month. The idea is that instead of just bringing your car to FlightCar when you travel, you just leave your car with them all the time. If you're one of those Mission Street programmers who bikes in town and takes a company shuttle to work and don't want to move your Saab to a new legal parking spot every day, this might be exactly the program for you.

In return for making your car available, you get to use it – or an equivalent one – four days a month. For the right telecommuter, this could be the equivalent of a decent "raise" of $400 a month, plus the cars are insured in case renters damage something. The monthly payment breakdown goes like this:
  • 2008 and older standard vehicle: $150
  • 2008 and older luxury vehicle: $225
  • 2009 and newer standard vehicle: $225
  • 2009 and newer luxury vehicle: $400
The benefit to car renters, aside from a lack of new car smell, is a price tag that is about 50-70 percent less than what FlightCar calls "traditional car agencies." You know, the one who buy their own vehicle fleet.
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FIRST CAR-SHARE PROGRAM WITH FLAT-RATE RECURRING MONTHLY PAYMENTS GOES LIVE AUGUST 5

Brand new "Flightcar Monthly" program pays car owners a flat-rate recurring monthly payment of $150-$400 to park-and-share; tackles crowded city parking problems

[San Francisco / Boston] August 5, 2013 -- Competition is heating up around US airports in the $30 billion car rental industry, and crowded cities feed an $18 billion parking industry. Now, Cambridge-based FlightCar is going live with a new, full-service, park-and-share program designed to automatically pay car owners a monthly cut of car-share income, between $150 to $400 --regardless of whether their cars are rented -- in addition to saving them hundreds of dollars on parking fees.

Simply called "FlightCar Monthly," the program tackles two problems simultaneously: the exorbitant cost of parking in the city and the time-consuming hassle associated with competing peer-to-peer car-sharing, which requires a lot more effort. FlightCar's CEO Rujul Zaparde expects the program to appeal to busy professionals, college students, downtown residents and monthly customers of public parking garages, specifically those among these groups who tend to only use their car to get out of the city or to tackle household projects once a month.

In return for agreeing to let FlightCar try to rent their car for at least 26 out of a 30-day period, car owners will automatically receive a check between $150 to $400 each month, depending on the make and model year. Customers will also enjoy added conveniences such as free vehicle pickup, monthly auto-renewal, $1 million in insurance, town car service, and a car wash. FlightCar Monthly customers can also use their car, or an equivalent one, for free anytime for up to four days a month.

Consumers may sign up for FlightCar Monthly in public beta starting Monday, Aug 5 on FlightCar.com/Monthly. There are no fees involved to participate in the program, but you must be accepted into the program.

ABOUT FLIGHTCAR
Founded in July 2012 and launched from San Francisco in February 2013, Cambridge-based FlightCar tackles congestion at airports and the frustrations associated with crowded parking and over-priced car rentals. The full-service peer-to-peer secure parking and car sharing company currently operates in San Francisco and Boston, with planned expansion to Los Angeles and additional markets in the coming year. FlightCar was created by three Ivy League college teenage dropouts, Rujul Zaparde, Kevin Petrovic and Shri Ganeshram who were inspired by Airbnb and hope to revolutionize the car rental and parking industries. For more information, visit FlightCar.com.