good idea or risky bet?

Does your car cost you dearly when you do not use it much? Renting between individuals can be a great way to supplement your income. But there is always a part of the risk, especially in the event of a breakdown, despite the insurance from specialized sites.


John Leblanc

Published on

Renting your car to individuals provides some extra income when you are not using it.

Yes because

Rent your car to strangers? This is an idea that many will be tempted to reject. However, many vehicles are used only occasionally, while their insurance, maintenance or parking can cost money permanently. Not to mention the monthly payments for long-term rent (LLD), rent with option to purchase (LOA) or credit, which are generally taken for their acquisition. Renting between individuals can thus become a means of transforming all those moments of immobilization into a source of extra income and helping to pay for all these expenses along the way. Argus provides an update on sites that specialize in this area, the eligible models, as well as the warranties they offer in the event of a crash or accident while you are not driving.

The main places available

Although there are offers on more general sites, such as Leboncoin in the “services” section, car rental between individuals today takes place mainly through specialized sites. Professionals are responsible for connecting motorists, facilitating payment and generally providing insurance. In return, they charge a commission and more or less significant “service fees”.

  • Getaround (formerly Drivy): with its 2.5 million users in Europe, it is one of the leaders in the sector. In particular, the company offers an application, Getaround Connect, which allows you to use your smartphone to take stock of the situation and unlock the vehicle. The owner does not have to be present, but a box must be installed in advance.
  • Yes because: This “pioneer in the collaborative economy” was founded in 2012 and is present in France and Spain. It claims over 2 million users, including 30,000 owners. Like Getaround, it allows you to open, close, or start using a smartphone application called OuiCar Connect.
  • Roadstr: although there are also some models for the very general public, this site is primarily intended to be dedicated to “enthusiasts of vintage, sports and luxury cars”. The electric car also occupies a place in growth, with especially a large number of Teslas.

  • Travelcar / Free2Move: A subsidiary of Stellantis dedicated to various mobility services, Free2Move especially absorbed Travelcar, a company born in 2012 around an original idea. When you go on a train or plane trip, this company offers you to rent your vehicle rather than pay for parking, which is often very expensive. It claims 1 million regular users in no less than 62 countries.
  • Ucar: In addition to its classic fleet, the rental company Ucar offers vehicles “repoet” of individuals. The company then takes care of managing the booking plan, welcoming the customer and cleaning your car before it is returned to you. On the other hand, the search engine on its site does not really make it possible to distinguish leases between individuals and traditional leases.
  • Wheeliz: this company specializes in the rental of vehicles suitable for people with reduced mobility. Its website therefore mainly offers supplies equipped with wheelchair access ramps, as well as a few cars modified for disabled drivers.
  • Zotcar: Here is another highly specialized site. In fact, it is present only in the overseas territories, more precisely in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion. This does not prevent it from offering, like Getaround or Ouicar, its own application that allows a digital inventory and unlocking without the owner being present.

Which models are eligible?

As we have seen, websites specialize in a particular type of vehicle. Roadstr thus favors rather sophisticated models … which does not prevent it from refusing ” some sports cars with too radical driving or style ” just like ” Mercedes in finish or AMG or Brabus engine ” , that ” BMW in finish or M or Alpina engine “Or even” Volkswagen in GTI, GTD or R finish or engine ». But other companies, even more generalists, also have their share of exclusions. At Getaround, for example, vehicles must have less than 200,000 km, less than 15 years and a definite gray card, while Ouicar does not accept models with more than 14 CV, more than 9 seats or without a driving license. The most restrictive, however, is the Ucar, which only tolerates vehicles under 5 years old and under 50,000 km.

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At Roadstr, BMW M, Mercedes AMG or Audi RS, models are not welcome.


How is my car insured?

Leaving your car in the hands of someone you do not know at all is definitely worrying. However, all the sites we have mentioned provide an all-risk insurance that covers your vehicle during the rental period. In the event of an accident, your bonus or malus will not be affected and it is up to the tenant to pay the deductible. However, take some time to read the terms and conditions, which vary from company to company. For example, if Getaround and Ouicar offer reimbursement up to the new value for vehicles under 12 months old up to a limit of € 50,000, Roadstr is based on the expert’s say value, equivalent to the market. . In general, it will also be necessary to make sure that the profile of the driver for whom you are going to rent your car corresponds to the conditions set: At Roadstr he must be at least 28 years old, or even 35 years old from a power of 400 hp, and at least 5 years license, even 10 years for sports models of 300 hp and more. If the tenant wants to keep your car longer, finally do not forget to let the company know so that the insurance can also be extended.

What happens in the event of a breakdown?

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mechanical breakdown call for assistance

In the event of a breakdown, the tenant benefits from assistance, but it is usually the owner who continues to bear the repair costs.

Adobe Stock – Fotolia

Specialist insurance contracts include assistance covering towing, even far from your home. At Ouicar or Getaround, you will also be paid for the journey to restore your vehicle once it has been repaired. But it is always the owner who “remains responsible for the cost of repairing the vehicle, other than to prove by an expert that the damage is related to the tenant’s abnormal use of the vehicle” . Suffice it to say that you can expect a long and expensive obstacle course in this case … Like for example if you salvage your car with a broken clutch. As a bonus at Getaround, “90 € administration fees will be charged to you in the event of a breakdown after normal use of the vehicle”. The company therefore puts on its website a checklist of points to be checked to limit the risks.

What happens in the event of a traffic offense?

Of course, if the tenant commits an offense while in possession of the vehicle, all sites hold him liable. However, since the notice of infringement in most cases comes home to the owner, this situation generates its share of complications. For tickets related to parking or issued from abroad that do not lead to loss of points, Getaround recommends that the holder of the gray card first pays the fine and then requests a refund on his part. On the other hand, the story is different with Ouicar, which instead advises filling in a request for dispensation with the information regarding the tenant, and then sending it to the competent authorities by registered mail with a copy of the completed tenancy agreement. and signed proof. This leaves the tenant free to exercise his right to object. However, you still need to cross your fingers that it is not a bad payer who can then give you a few follow-up letters from the administration!

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speed camera in the city

If the tenant commits an offense while in possession of another person’s vehicle, it may present some difficulties.


Do I have to disclose the income from my leases?

Normally, all income from renting cars must be declared for tax. However, there is an allowance of € 305: you will therefore not be taxed if you earn less than this amount over the course of a full year, when the cost of rent is deducted. In addition, the tax authorities seem to show some tolerance towards very occasional rentals. But beware, conversely, if you have turned this activity into a real “business”, some go as far as buying more vehicles for this purpose. In addition to € 72,600 in annual turnover, you will no longer be able to apply the micro-BIC scheme for micro-enterprises, which is quite simple: you will have to switch to the right system, which is much more complex, which in particular requires you to record your activity. You must also pay VAT from € 34,400 in turnover.


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