In 2009 I helped set up the first car sharing club with a full electric fleet of cars in Spain. At that time, the mere concept of car sharing was very new to the Spanish market, where several start-ups popped up at the same time. The well-established GreenWheels in Holland and Streetcar in London were our examples to follow. We can say that car sharing clubs are the second generation of car hire, while traditional car hire companies represent the first generation (associated with paperwork and some hassle). Not surprisingly, soon enough second generation start-ups started merging with each other as they were building up the demand. Later on, first generation players went shopping. For example, Zipcar acquired Streetcar in 2010, and then Avis bought Zipcar in 2013.
The third generation wave is represented by hiyacar in London, which follows the journey started by Whipcar in 2009, and the likes of Getaround and Turo in the USA. This new wave is based on a peer to peer car rental model. Hiyacar doesn’t need to own a fleet of cars, since this is provided by the community for the community. Car owners can make additional cash by renting their vehicles when they don’t use them, and their neighbours can access a huge variety of cars nearby.
I think it’s relevant to state that hiyacar is a genuine peer to peer car rental platform. Both traditional car hire companies and car clubs have their own fleets of vehicles, and even other platforms that claim to do peer to peer car hire actually act as advertisers of professional fleets owned by other businesses. We’re creating a real neighbour to neighbour car hire network in London, an idea that delivers advantages for everyone and truly leverages underutilised resources. In this blog I’d like to briefly discuss some of the key aspects of hiyacar’s value proposition.
How many unused cars are parked on your doorstep? Wouldn’t it be great to hire one of those when you need it? Or, if you own one of those cars, wouldn’t it be great to rent it out to a neighbour and make some extra £££ while you’re not using it? Hiyacar’s technology brings wealth and convenience to your local community.
We take trust and safety very seriously. Most sharing economy platforms don’t come even close to hiyacar in terms of verifying user profiles. Among other checks, we validate driving licence & DVLA eligibility for all our drivers, and we require the car owners to only list cars that are ‘roadworthy’ (other self proclaimed peer to peer car rental companies don’t verify anything by the way — they leave all that work to the members involved in each hire). Furthermore, our exclusive peer to peer insurance with AXA ensures that both drivers and owners are fully protected. On top of all that, there is our rating and review system. Even though we already go a long way in this sense, this is a key area for further development and innovation.
QuickStart is the system that allows hiyacar members to open and lock the car they’ve booked by using our app (iOS & Android). With it, the need of doing a key handover disappears. As hiyacar CEO stated, peer to peer car rental doesn’t work without this technology. I mean, we still have many hires coming from non-QuickStart cars/owners, but the whole user experience is just not the same. A couple of weeks ago I messaged a car owner (QuickStart) whose car I had booked, and he told me that he couldn’t help much as he was abroad. How cool is it to be working on your tan in sunny Spain while your car makes some money for you?!
Huge variety of cars at competitive prices
Where a traditional car hire or a car club such as Zipcar is always going to have a limited number and range of cars, the beauty of hiyacar as peer to peer car rental platform is that we can offer an incredible variety of cars and models near you. From convenient and more affordable cars like a Ford Focus or a Polo to high-end BMW or Mercedes, you name it. Over 1,700 cars in London, and growing. Price-wise, when it comes to weekend trips, I don’t think there is a more affordable option than hiyacar in London.
Excellent member support
I always talk about our product/platform, but our community team is just extraordinary. If you ever had an issue while using hiyacar, there will always be someone at our end to help. Oh, did I mention that we have the highest Trustpilot rating for UK car sharing? There is that, too.