A rising star called FlightCar is going up against Avis, Enterprise and Hertz in the $11 billion airport car rental industry. Since February, it’s been offering car-share rentals at 50%-70% off conventional rental prices and giving car owners ecological and financial incentives to share.
The collaborative travel and car sharing trends the service represents could be good news for travelers.
Backed by the founder of Airbnb and Ryan Seacrest, FlightCar is the first full-service, peer-to-peer car sharing company to focus on travelers. All they have to do is make reservations to either park (“list”) or rent a car with a few clicks online at FlightCar.com , and just show up.
It works especially well for peak travel times, red-eyes, odd-hour and very late flights.
FlightCar is open 24/7 and located just minutes from the airport in San Francisco and Boston. They’ve added complimentary VIP touches, like premium town car service pickup and drop-off at the terminal, express checkout via iPad in minutes, no up-selling and free GPS and car seats for renters.
Car owners taking off, leave their cars with FlightCar, get free secure parking, town car service right to their terminals, and help with bags. Savings could amount to $18 to $40 a day in airport parking and time saved.
Meanwhile, FlightCar tries to rent out the traveler’s car.
Upon return, there’s a pick up, and the car is waiting up front , freshly washed and vacuumed. If the car was rented while the traveler was away, there’s a check waiting, could be $10-$20 for each day the car was rented, with luxury car brands and newer cars earning the higher amount.
TIP: Whether you’re a car owner or renter, make sure to include your flight number in your online reservation or call when you land at the airport, so FlightCar can have a driver waiting outside at curbside.
Ultimately, FlightCar could save travelers time and money, putting a premium back on service in the travel industry.
“This is a baby step into sharing for a lot of people,” says CEO Rujul Zaparde . “Even if you’re hesitant to share your car because it seems like a hassle, you can start by renting someone else’s car and see how it’s either no different and actually better than convention car rental. Then you might park and share your own car on your next trip.”
The company is rolling out a new new program FlightCar Monthly , which works when travelers are not traveling, or are away for extended periods.
A new video explains the service .