The pitfalls of private car sharing

Rent your car and make it work for you! This is how car-sharing platforms advertise that sell private cars. But it has to be calculated well. And car insurance also has a say.

The key to the joyride doesn't always have to come from a rental car company.

EIt sounds wonderful: Earning money with the car when it is just sitting around unused anyway. Private car sharing platforms such as Drivy, Snappcar, Getaway or Turo make it possible. This can actually be a good idea, but it needs to be considered carefully.

Anyone who puts it to the test at Snappcar, for example, can rent a VW Touran in Frankfurt on May 2 for 37.37 euros with 100 free kilometers. The rental price is 32.50 euros, each additional kilometer costs 15 cents. With operating costs per kilometer of around 18.8 cents *, at least every extra kilometer is a loss for the landlord.

If the tenant uses the 100 free kilometers, the operating costs are 18.80 euros. 25 percent of the rental price goes to Snappcar, so the bottom line is 5.575 euros. This is an approximate example calculation. The applicable one can be completely different depending on the rental conditions, vehicle and owner.

Additional performance has to pay off

What is missing in this calculation, however, is wear and tear. With a higher mileage due to the rental, replacement is necessary earlier – and this would have to be brought in through the rental. In this respect, it is important to calculate well, because the rental price is set by the vehicle providers themselves. It is important to ensure that the agency fee is deducted from this. With Snappcar and Turo this is 25 percent of the rental price, with Drivy it is 30 percent.

What can also make business much more difficult is an insurance problem. Wolfgang Schütz, managing director of Verivox insurance comparison, points out that many car insurers exclude private car sharing in their conditions.

The car-sharing providers therefore also offer their own insurance solutions. Turo, Snappcar and Drivy work with the alliance. At least Turo offers the option to decline insurance and provide the renter with their own insurance. The insurance is usually paid for by the tenant.

Who pays in the event of damage?

However, not all insurers agree with this solution either, says Schütz. These lack legal certainty. Since, regardless of the short-term insurance of the car-sharing platform, the insurance confirmation from the actual car insurer is still available at the registration office, they fear that in the end there may be an obligation to pay.

The providers of car sharing policies could take recourse against the vehicle owner’s insurer by justifying an existing double insurance policy. Customers and victims of accidents can also continue to claim the damage directly from their insurer. Obviously, not all insurance companies want to rely on the fact that the vehicle owner’s insurance has been suspended for the rental period.

However, according to Schütz, there are also insurers who regard private car sharing as unproblematic. Potential landlords should inform their insurer in good time. “We are currently not aware of any judgments on claims. However, we still see a need for clarification between the providers – also in the interests of motorists who would like to use private car sharing. “

The problems mentioned relate to private-to-private commercial lending. All platforms offer the opportunity to act as a commercial lender. Private car insurance does not generally apply here. Snappcar also cooperates with Europcar. Customers of the car rental company can, so to speak, sublet their vehicles here via Snappcar.