The nice thing about living in San Francisco is that you get to be a guinea pig for the many start ups here. We’re frequent users of AirBnb, TaskRabbit, Uber, and recently we just discovered a new startup in the car sharing business: FlightCar.
Like I mentioned in another post, having a car in San Francisco is a headache and many residents opt for living car-free – choosing instead to utilize the many car sharing options available in San Francisco.
FlightCar attempts to answer the question “What do we do with all of the parked cars in airports around the world?” – well, rent them out of course.
For car owners FlightCar offers free airport parking and a car wash, PLUS a check if the car gets rented.
For renters, it offers cheap car rental option.
FlightCar tries hard to make the experience as easy as possible for both parties. They offer free black car service to/from the airport, free GPS and car seats, and free liability insurance.
My FlightCar Experience
I took BART down from downtown San Francisco to SFO. 10 mins before my schedule pick up time, FlightCar sent me a text message reminding me to text them after I pick up my luggage. I requested a pick up through the app then waited by the limousine pickup area as instructed – 15 mins later a black SUV came by and drove me to their offsite lot about 10 minutes drive away.
The whole check in process was quick and smooth. 5 minutes later I was driving away in a Prius.
Upon drop off, I returned the car to the same location where I picked it up and a black car then took me to the nearest BART station upon my request.
Total price for 5 day rental? $75 all inclusive.
My FlightCar Review
I love the idea. I’ve always been a supporter of sharing economy and FlightCar is an embodiment of that philosophy. I see the main challenge for this startup is to convince people to let their cars driven by a complete stranger. Having said that, the full parking lot I witnessed was proof that so far they haven’t had problems providing supply to the demand.
The only drawback is that for an SFO residents you do have to make your way down to the airport. All in all from departure from my apartment in SOMA to driving away with the rental car it took me almost 1.5 hours. Which is worth it considering the low price of the rental car and the length of the rental. For shorter trips, I think Zipcar and regular car rental would still be my preferred choice.
As a startup their business model is still developing and I know they keep trying to improve the whole experience.
What do you think? Would you list your car with FlightCar? Would you rent a car from FlightCar?