Rent their cars on platforms they have made it their business

While pursuing a master’s degree in economics at the Sorbonne, Ayman projected himself into finance. He saw himself working with bank compliance for a large company. Since then, his plans have changed. In March 2020, while in master 1, he bought a used Renault Modus for 5,000 euros to rent it out. Others will follow. And what was supposed to be an extra income has become … a full-time professional activity.

The 24-year-old young man threw himself fully into the adventure with Pierre, a friend who was then employed by a real estate agency. The duo rent their vehicles at Getaround (ex-Drivy) and OuiCar, two leading car rental platforms between individuals in the French market. Drivers can rent vehicles there for a few hours, days or weeks. Among the owners registered on these sites, two profiles: those who rent out their personal vehicle, which they do not use daily to amortize the cost of acquisition and maintenance, and the others, such as Ayman and Pierre, who buy vehicles without drive. them, to make a profit.

They are established in several cities. Very quickly, they realize that there is a strong demand and increase their fleet. Today, they have no less than 22 vehicles (city cars, utilities and station wagons) and aim for 34 during the summer. “We had not imagined that it could have such a success”, smiles Pierre, 28, who has resumed work-study studies in real estate development. To support them, they hire a part-time administrative assistant.

Connected boxes for simplified control

Their vehicles are parked in Brest, Quimper, Limoges, Poitiers, Orléans, Dijon, Besançon … If this logistics is possible, it is thanks to the connected boxes that the platforms offer. These allow renters to unlock the vehicle with their smartphone, collect the keys and return them at the end of the lease without meeting anyone. Enough to offer great flexibility that traditional rental agencies do not necessarily have.

Of course, this service comes at a price. Getarounds connected box costs 19 euros per month per. vehicle – costs incurred by the owners. To benefit from it, the vehicle must, among other things, be under 10 years old and under 150,000 kilometers on the odometer. At OuiCar, you count 29.90 euros a month for a box.

If these boxes amputate their income, the duo will find their account there. “It gives us a fairly passive management”excited Pierre and Ayman, who still have to travel across France to clean their vehicles once a week, aided by the latter’s brother.

Luke, 34, prefers to do without the box and hand over the keys. He can afford it because his 15 vehicles are concentrated in the Toulouse metropolitan area, near his home.

He is also dedicated to his rental business. When he started in 2019, he was a project manager in aeronautics and wanted to generate additional revenue. Dismissed in the summer of 2020 in the midst of a pandemic, he decided to devote himself to it with his wife, who left his job as a switchboard operator.

Sublease of cars

Their cars are rented out on OuiCar, Getaround and a site created by the couple. “We earn enough profit to be able to live decently, Luke explains. I earn about the same as in my previous job, and my wife a little more. » And to add: “With the difference that now we manage our time, our investments, that we have a better quality of life. »

To achieve this, they dipped into their savings and reinvested all their income in acquiring new vehicles. But not everyone who rents cars on platforms owns them.

Emile, a 27-year-old developer based in Paris, did not have enough savings to buy five vehicles that he wanted. So he found a leasing company that he rents out cars to … sublet them.

He pays 250 euros a month for each of the five rented Volkswagen Polos. In addition, 100 euros for parking in Paris and the suburbs and 150 euros for insurance per. vehicle. It is a cost of about 500 euros per. month and per. vehicle. “I rent them out for 50 euros a day. After the 11the rental day so the money smokes in my pocket. » Over a year, he aims for 15,000 euros in profit with five vehicles, or 3,000 euros per car. He intends to increase its fleet and become its owner with a view to “to earn enough income to hire someone to take care of it”.

Taxation and restrictions

Of course, taxation erodes profitability. Owners who lease vehicles must declare for tax purposes the income they have from them. From 8,227 euros per year, they must register their activity (according to the status of the general scheme, as a micro-entrepreneur or self-employed) and pay social security contributions.

And this activity requires some logistics. Emile vacuums each of her vehicles at least once a week. He must also transfer the fines he receives to the motorists and regularly go to the workshop, in the event of a breakdown or damaged body. Insurance policies for Getaround and OuiCar, which are included in the 10% commission that they deduct from the price quoted by the rental companies, generally allow him to repair his vehicles without incident.

In the event of a serious accident, the vehicles may not be able to be put back into circulation and may be scrapped. It happened with several of Luke’s cars whose tenants had been out for an accident. “In these cases, we have to buy a car immediately with our savings and wait for the insurance to cover – which takes an month and a half on average. But if we do not have cash, we will give up cash flows for several weeks … “ Another element to keep in mind: Unlike real estate, where the seller of a property can make money by reselling, cars see their value fall.

Some people are saved from buying cars they would use a little

Tom, owner of three cars

Despite these limitations, this type of investment is attractive. Tom, a 22-year-old salesman, took the plunge in the summer of 2021. He owns three vehicles purchased for a total of 28,000 euros and rented out in Vaucluse. “I did not have enough to invest in real estate and it turned out to be a good investment! » It generates about 600 euros in profit every month. In addition to the monetary effort, he insists that this investment seems to him virtuous: “We prevent some people from buying cars they would use a little.”

What reassures him in this industry: to be able to easily return if profitability collapses. “All you have to do is remove the vehicles from the platforms with a few clicks and resell them.” But this is not the case. For now, the young man hopes to increase his fleet … also for him, why not make a living from it.

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