I spend most of my ‘non-travel’ time in San Francisco. As most city residents I don’t own a car anymore. The city has spelled out car ownership as an evil sin and the city government does everything in their power to
prohibit discourage car ownership. After $1,000 in parking tickets I threw in the towel rather quickly.
Since I also gave up on the city’s dysfunctional ‘Muni’ public transport (I never use it) I became a big user of Lyft and Uber when in the city (I have have just a few complaints – more about that another time).
However to get out of the city – like Palo Alto or Napa a car is what you want. There are plenty of car-sharing service in the city Zipcar (owned by Avis), Enterprise Car Share (owned by Vanguard Automotive Company) and Getaround.
I have written down my initial impressions with Getaround (Review) here.
Now with 50+ more rentals under my belt – would I still recommend Getaround?
Once signed up at Getaround you get access to an iPhone app that allows you to open and start a car you booked on the platform right away. That’s kind cool and does not require an extra ‘smart card’ like Zipcar or Enterprise Car Share.
There is also no membership fee and after approval you can rent within minutes.
Since Getaround relies on individual car owners to rent out their cars the diversity of options available to you is enormous. I rented the above BMW convertible, a Tesla Model S but also lots of Nissan Micra’s with cat hair up to the roof. Getaround runs a review system for rentals but they do not share reviews with the community – that’s a big failing in my view – you can’t see how well a car is maintained inside out until you are right in front of it.
The same goes for the owners – there are super friendly, just awesome people and just plain rude, horrible people renting our their cars. Some owners clearly seem less then comfortable with you renting their car. I’m sure the same goes for renters – but Getaround does not share those reviews either.
Getaround is expensive – small, old clunkers with lots of cat hair go for $8-$10/ hour – this does not include fuel. For a quick run to the grocery store – that’s ok (or the pet doctor) but for longer drives this adds up to $80 per day (10 hours is the daily max, you get the full 24 hours). For this money Avis gives you a full size, clean car.
However Getaround is often available just around the corner – some areas in SF have every city block with Getaround cars covered so it’s very convenient.
The problem (and great news for owners of old cars) is that Getaround guarantees $6,000 in yearly income as long as your car is rented out on the platform 3 of 4 weekends in a month. For that it just needs to fulfill the minimum requirements as stated by the company. The income guarantee also leads to many owners pricing their cars out of the market – they set up a $50 /hour rate – fully expecting no rentals but caching in the $6,000 guarantee.
Some cars have dedicated parking (like Zipcar) which costs about $200-$300 in the city – but many do not. It kinds defeats car sharing when you have to search for parking 30-45 minutes after you drop off a car.
Getaround also requires to refill the tank to the same level as when you picked up the car. Fair enough but this adds to the price and San Francisco just has a handful of gas stations left – try filling up in a few minutes at these crowded gas stations.
Another issues is the less than stellar iPhone app which is slow and clunky. However the GetAround Support via Phone and email is always available and VERY helpful.
Getaround ends up being about twice as expensive for cars you take down the freeway for a bit compared to Zipcar or Enterprise Car Sharing. While some cars are as cheap as $5 they are usually full of trash, have broken shocks and plenty of cat hair. I modern Prius or a 2010 Audi A4 runs at ~$14-16/ hour plus fuel and may not have dedicated parking.
Getaround is a great choice if you just come to visit one of the covered cities and want to avoid full day rentals – San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Portland, Chicago, and Washington DC currently have Getaround. For most of these urban environments a full day (classic) rental is just too much.
Try Getaround with and get $20 off your first drive using my link.
If you would like to rent out your car you can get up to $500 as a sign up bonus and $6,000 guaranteed in the first year.
More from MightyTravels:
- January 20, 2015 Cool – Get $25 in free Getaround rides – and my experience with the service
- August 22, 2015 Getaround $50 in free rides, $500 when listing your car – hurry ends August 31st
- August 31, 2015 Getaround $50 free credit, $500 when listing your car ends today
- January 24, 2015 Weekly Summary – $25 off $100 Expedia, $25 in free Getaround, $35 off $200 TravelPony, amazing flight deals
- October 31, 2014 The Centurion Lounge San Francisco Airport to open November 6th, 2014
- February 3, 2015 Uber $30 invites come back (for just two weeks)
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This post first appeared on MightyTravels | Mighty Savings (Airfare Deals, Rew, please read the originial post: here