Rent out your car for money
Got a car but don't always use it? Don't leave your wheels rusting on the driveway – you could make £100s every month by renting your car out.
Whether you're off to uni and won't be bringing your car, or you've got a job that's easier to reach by public transport, you might be tempted to bite the bullet and sell up.
But by keeping hold of your wheels, you could make over £600 a month by renting out your car to other people. It may only take a few months to make more than if you'd sold it.
To get you started, we've listed the best peer to peer car rental companies, including what level of commission they charge and if they offer extra insurance. We've also answered some of your burning questions, like if your existing insurance will be affected, and if the whole process is safe.
What's in this guide?
Best companies for renting out your car
These are the best companies and apps for renting out your car:
Hiyacar says you can earn up to £650 a month when you rent out your vehicle using its service.
To be eligible, your car must be under 15 years old, have a current value of under £40,000 and have a maximum of seven seats.
Like some of the other rental services on this list, Hiyacar offers a keyless entry system that allows users to access your vehicle via an app. Known as QuickStart, installing the service on your car is free – but only if you live in a QuickStart enabled area. Anyone who doesn't has to pay £150.
If you have a regular customer, or want to lend your vehicle to friends, family or neighbours using the service, Hiyacar also allows you to charge 'Mate's Rates'. By sharing a unique URL with the renter, you can give them a discount without changing your usual fees.
What commission does Hiyacar charge?
Hiyacar takes a 30% cut of the rental fee you charge.
What insurance cover does Hiyacar offer?
Insurance is automatically added to all Hiyacar bookings.
The policy covers your vehicle for theft (including attempted theft), fire and damage arising from accidents, all up to a maximum of £40,000. It also covers you should your vehicle cause any harm to a third party or their vehicle.
What breakdown cover does Hiyacar offer?
Hiyacar offers owners an exclusive AA breakdown cover package which applies to the car at all times. This means the policy is in play no matter who is driving the vehicle, including renters.
The policy includes roadside assistance for any breakdown over a quarter of a mile away from the vehicle's registered address, or 'home start' assistance for any incidents closer to home.
Turo claims to be the world's largest car-sharing marketplace, and says its users earn an average of £442 a month.
To be eligible for listing on Turo, your vehicle must be 10 years old or newer at the time of listing, have fewer than 130,000 miles on the clock and be worth less than £100,000 (which shouldn't be too hard).
Like its competitors, Turo offers a contactless rental system: Turo Go. However, not every owner and vehicle will be eligible for the scheme – there are a few criteria you'll need to meet.
What commission does Turo charge?
Turo will take either 25% or 35% of the trip price, depending on the level of 'Turo protection' you choose – as we'll now explain.
What insurance cover does Turo offer?
Turo offers two levels of insurance: the '75 plan' and the '65 plan', named after the percentage of the fee you get to keep with each option (corresponding to the 25% and 35% that Turo takes).
In either case, you won't directly pay for the insurance. Instead, the cost is covered by the level of commission you sacrifice to Turo.
If you go for the 65 plan, you'll have a £0 deductible (basically an excess i.e. the amount you need to pay before you can claim on the insurance) and get a courtesy car if repairs to your vehicle take longer than three days.
On the 75 plan, you won't be offered a courtesy car and you'll have to pay an excess of £250 per incident.
However, both plans will insure your vehicle for physical damage up to £100,000, and up to £20,000,000 for harm caused to third parties or their vehicles.
What breakdown cover does Turo offer?
The breakdown cover supplied by Turo is in partnership with FMG and is available 24/7.
If your vehicle can't be repaired at the roadside, you'll be contacted and given the choice of which garage to tow it to (within 20 miles of the incident). Should FMG not be able to reach you, they'll take the vehicle to the nearest garage or secure unit.
Formerly known as Drivy, Getaround estimates that you can earn up to £400 a month renting out your car on its platform.
However, your vehicle must have been registered after the 1st January 2013 and have fewer than 130,000 miles on the clock.
For contactless, remote renting, owners can sign up for Getaround Connect. This involves Getaround installing a small box in your car that allows renters to unlock the vehicle with their phone.
Getaround says the whole process is completely secure, and that first-time renters must seek verification by supplying a video of their face and pictures of the required documents.
What commission does Getaround charge?
Getaround charges a 40% commission (or 'service fee') on all bookings.
What insurance cover does Getaround offer?
Getaround's insurance cover is supplied by Allianz, and should protect you if anything goes wrong while someone is borrowing your car.
The insurance covers you for damage to your vehicle, fire and theft – in all cases, either by the driver or a third party.
Similarly, if the renter injures a third party or damages someone else's property while driving your vehicle, you'll be covered.
In the event of an accident, you shouldn't need to pay a penny. The renter will pay the cost of the repair up to the excess limit, and the insurance will cover the rest.
What breakdown cover does Getaround offer?
Getaround also offers breakdown cover that ensures that, if needed, your car will be towed to the nearest garage or repaired at the roadside.
The driver will be given transport to either their home or their destination. Meanwhile, you'll be refunded for any costs incurred if you have to travel to the garage where the vehicle was taken.
How do you rent out your car?
While each peer to peer rental company has its own procedures for getting started, the basic principles for listing your car are broadly the same.
Whichever car rental service you go for, you'll need to do the following:
- Decide how much you want to charge for renting out your car
- Set limits on the number of miles or amount of fuel your renter is allowed to use
- Refresh your listing with the dates you're happy to rent out your car.
Depending on whether or not your car has been fitted with the company's contactless pickup technology, you may need to be around to hand over the keys to the renter.
Of course, if you do have contactless technology, you can get on with your day as normal. This is ideal if you're working or away at university, and your family isn't able to handle the pickup for you.
In some cases, renters may request to pick up your car from somewhere that isn't your home, like an airport. This requires a little more work from you, but offering the service could bring you more bookings if you live near a transport hub or popular tourist hotspot.
How much should you charge for renting out your car?
When you enter your vehicle details, the car rental company will recommend a suitable rate for renting out your car – but you don't have to go with this. Ultimately, you can charge whatever you want, as long as people will actually pay it.
If you're not happy with the suggested figure, do a search for similar vehicles in your area and see what other people are charging. It's likely that the rates will match up with what the car rental company suggests, but you may find some outliers that suggest you could make more money.
And when you're setting your fee, remember that you won't receive 100% of what the renter pays. The car rental company will always take a cut of the booking, so you should factor that into your thinking when you're deciding what to charge.
Will your insurance be affected by renting out your car?
All of the companies we've listed above offer extra insurance to cover your car (and the driver) while it's being rented out.
However, this doesn't replace your existing car insurance. In fact, your current cover may even exclude your vehicle from being eligible for rental, so check the wording of your policy if you're unsure.
Even if your main insurance policy doesn't explicitly prohibit you from renting out your car, doing so may have indirect consequences that could invalidate your cover.
For example, when you apply for car insurance, you have to give an estimate of the maximum number of miles you'll drive in the coming year. If you suddenly decide to rent your car out, the chances are that your actual mileage will end up exceeding your estimate, therefore invalidating the insurance.
Some car rental companies say that the miles accumulated while your vehicle is being rented won't count towards the figure on your insurance. But this won't always be the case, so remember to check first and adjust the estimated mileage on your main policy if needed.
Is it safe to rent out your car?
The extra insurance and breakdown cover offered by peer to peer car rental companies should mean you won't be significantly out of pocket if anything goes wrong with your vehicle.
But obviously, you'd rather your car wasn't involved in an accident in the first place. To help ensure your vehicle is in safe hands, these companies will conduct some checks on users before they're allowed to start renting cars.
At the bare minimum, renters usually need to submit documents or a video of themselves to prove that they're who they say they are. Some platforms even offer checks on their driving habits, providing an extra level of assurance.
Should a renter get a speeding ticket, parking ticket or use a toll road while driving your car, some peer to peer rental companies will reimburse you for the cost. However, you'll usually need to submit the receipts ASAP.
And even if your renters are the most careful, most law-abiding drivers around, the extra use will bring with it some added costs.
The more your car is driven, the sooner and more often you'll need to replace the tyres and windscreen wipers. And, while not quite as expensive, you'll also need to top up your washer bottles and engine oil more often too.
Extra use will also increase the likelihood of other mechanical faults developing over time.
So, while renting out your car isn't inherently unsafe, it may bring some unavoidable extra costs along the way.
When your car's being borrowed, why not rent out your driveway too?