Airbnb for cars

2018-01-18 06:01

WHAT do you get when a South African and two Hollanders walk into a pub? If that South African is called Peter Puren, and the Dutch guys are Sebastian Brokmann and Frank van Driel, you get a Cape Town start-up that bills itself as the Airbnb for cars.

While a first in SA, the business model has already been proven by Snappcar in Europe and Turo in the U.S.

Puren, the CEO of Rent My Ride, cut his teeth in the rental business while working for car rental agencies in the United Kingdom and started Rent My Ride (RMR) in 2016.

Brokmann is the MD of the company who brings his experience with a start-up Fruitful Office to RMR. Brokmann helped grow Fruitful to a market-leading company that delivers fresh fruit to over 100 000 residents weekly in the Netherlands.

Van Driel is the Internet boss and was co-founder of Budget Energie, which is a renewable energy company with a turnover of over R6,6 billion.

Puren said he started his own small car rental business from his apartment with only four cars and progressed by renting out other people’s cars for them.

Since the humble start, Puren said thousands of vehicle owners have hired out their rides to total strangers, who get to rate the car owner, while the car owners also get to rate the renters.

The renters pay over 40% less than conventional car rental agencies charge, with a wider variety of cars.

In Cape Town, for example, the cheapest rental is a Tazz at R100 a day. In Durban, the cheapest ride at the time of print was a Fiat 500 at R168 per day, while an Isuzu single cab was listed for R468 a day.

Puren said in a media statement owners make from a few hundred to over R40 000 a month, depending on the model they rent out and their price.

The renter pays a deposit that covers any damage under R5 000 while RMR has a R10 million insurance policy underwritten by Renasa Insurance for damage over R5 000. The cover includes 24/7 roadside assistance.

Puren said in a statement Rent My Ride enables any car owner to make their vehicle earn its keep by renting it out to people who have passed RMR’s strict screening process.

He said traditional car hire firms are likely to have limited supply in December and January, which creates a chance for people listed on RMR to earn extra money over the festive season.

Brokmann said the goal for 2018 is to enlist thousands of South Africans on the Rent My Ride website.

- Alwyn Viljoen.


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