Economy, Auto

Car-Sharing Plan Cuts Owner Costs

Car-Sharing Plan Cuts Owner Costs
Car-Sharing Plan Cuts Owner Costs

Ford USA is entering the car-sharing market with a program that will cut Ford Credit customers' vehicle costs by enabling them to rent out their cars to third-party individuals.

The pilot program, Peer-2-Peer Car Sharing, invites 26,000 select Ford Motor Credit Co. customers in six US cities and London to rent their vehicles to other drivers for short-term use, Automotive News reported.

The program is designed to help customers offset monthly vehicle ownership costs. Ford is offering the six-month pilot project to 14,000 customers in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Chicago; and Washington.

The program covers late-model Ford-brand vehicles beginning with the 2005 model year that have fewer than 125,000 miles.

San Francisco startup Getaround will oversee the software that the US invitees would use to rent vehicles. Ford owners in the US will register their vehicle with Getaround.

Then, they will determine when they want to make their vehicles available and how much they want to charge, David McClelland, Ford Credit's vice president of marketing said.

Owners will receive monthly income based on their rentals, with Getaround absorbing 40% of income to cover insurance and administration costs, McClelland noted.

"If it's popular, one of the options would be to look at expanding this on a national basis," he added.

The car-share project is the latest phase of a plan that Ford CEO Mark Fields introduced in January, called Ford Smart Mobility, that aims to enhance connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles and customer experience.