SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 14, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- RelayRides (http://www.RelayRides.com), the world's first neighbor-to-neighbor carsharing service, is launching in San Francisco on December 14, powered by funding from August Capital and Google Ventures. RelayRides provides car owners a user-friendly platform to safely lend their cars to their neighbors – and make money while providing convenient, affordable access to neighbors who need the occasional use of vehicles. Rather than putting new cars on the road like other carsharing services, RelayRides goes the eco-friendly route by leveraging existing, often idle autos. Neighbors help each other as car owners recover some of the costs of owning an expensive asset while providing a new, convenient transportation option for those in need of a car.
Effective today, car owners in San Francisco can set their car's hourly and daily rates and make them available to pre-screened RelayRides members. For those who need occasional access to a car for errands or a day trip, RelayRides offers competitive rates, and is free to join. Rates start at just $6 per hour and include gas and insurance. A $1 million insurance policy is in effect during each reservation to provide peace of mind for car owners. RelayRides provides in-vehicle technology and an online reservation system that enables independent access via smartcard to borrowers. The in-vehicle technology tracks usage and provides vehicle security.
"Consumers are increasingly rejecting traditional forms of ownership, preferring to borrow rather than buy. RelayRides builds on this changing consumer behavior by enabling neighbors to support each other, both financially and practically," comments Shelby Clark, founder and CEO of RelayRides.
When RelayRides launched in the Boston area earlier this year, its rapid adoption by auto owners and those in need of a car demonstrated its viability. The company has successfully recruited owners with basic vehicles such as Honda Civics as well as higher-end Porsches and Jaguars. "It's the perfect thing for me," says Anthony Burdi, a 2009 Prius owner in Boston. "It's a good way to earn revenue from my car when I'm not using it, which helps me pay for gas, insurance and other running costs. At the same time, I'm helping a neighbor by providing them access to a car. I never thought of it and kind of wish I had, because it's a great business to be in."
"Car sharing between neighbors is great for San Francisco, as it will lead to fewer new cars on the road, which will help decrease congestion and pollution. That's why I'm delighted to make my Prius available via RelayRides - it's good for me, for my neighbors, and for my city," comments Caterina Rindi, owner of a Toyota Prius, of San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood.
"Carsharing is a $12.5 billion global market that is thriving in both the U.S. and abroad. RelayRides is the first to bring this global trend to the hyperlocal level," says Joe Kraus, Partner at Google Ventures and Board Director of RelayRides. "This growth is driven by the fact that carsharing is now a convenient, affordable and sustainable alternative to ownership."
To learn more and enroll, visit http://www.RelayRides.com.
RelayRides is the world's first neighbor-to-neighbor carsharing service. RelayRides enables car owners to make money while providing those in need of a car with affordable access to one. RelayRides is a venture-funded company backed by Google Ventures and August Capital.
More information about RelayRides and its service is available at: http://www.RelayRides.com.