After launching a pilot for its new GoDrive car-sharing service in London last month, Ford now has another way for drivers to borrow a set of wheels. The company announced a new "Peer-2-Peer Car Sharing" program last night, a ZipCar-esque pilot scheme that will allow Ford drivers to rent their cars to other people for short periods of time.
The program will involve 14,000 drivers in six US cities — Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, and Washington DC — and 12,000 in London. Drivers will be able to participate through "web-based, mobile-friendly" software borrowed from ride-share companies Getaround and easyCar Club, and Ford says prospective renters will be pre-screened, going through an approval process before being allowed to borrow your ride. Unlike its recently announced GoDrive scheme, the newer program acts more like a traditional car rental service, relying on customers to return vehicles to their owners once their rental period is over.
The car rental program is open to drivers who got their cars on credit
For now at least, Peer-2-Peer Car Sharing will only open to people whose vehicles were obtained through Ford Credit rather than purchased outright. The car company says the money earned by renting the financed cars will offset monthly costs. Services such as easyCar Club have allowed car owners to rent their own vehicles to other users for a while now, but Ford becomes one of the first manufacturers to actively back such a system, and allow drivers to recoup money for their monthly fees. "As most vehicles are parked and out of use much of the time," Ford's David McClelland said, "this can help us gauge our customers' desires to pick up extra cash and keep their vehicles in use."