JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Renting a rental car at a good price continues to be a challenge. Major rental car companies still have limited inventory due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But a new business model has stepped in to fill the demand.
People are making extra cash by renting out their cars.
“Basically Turo is like the Airbnb of cars,” Alvin Mccay said. He runs the biggest car sharing business in Jacksonville.
He rents his cars on Turo, a peer-to-peer car rental company.
It all started a few years ago.
“I was working for home at the time and I was like, ‘this car was just sitting in my driveway,’ and I said ‘let me try sharing this to the public,’” Mccay said.
Now, he has over 50 cars for rent on a lot in north Jacksonville.
A Nissan Sentra rents for $59 a day. A similar car for rent at the airport is $30 to $40 more.
Renters do it all from their phone.
“It’s very easy to rent on Turo. As long as you got a good driving record and a good insurance score, most people get approved,” Mccay said.
He has a few economy cars, but he specializes in luxury and muscle cars: Maserattis, BMWs, Corvettes, Porches, Chargers and Challengers.
Brad Pelland rents five to six cars a year mainly for the experience. “I’m a car person, so to rent a car for a day, or an anniversary, or just for the day to go to St. Augustine -- and that’s what I do.”
Action News Jax Anchor Phil Amato also saw several people renting cars because they needed transportation.
The pandemic paved the way for Turo and other car-rental apps like Getaround.
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Last year, car rental companies sold off their fleets due to lack of demand.
Now the global chip shortage is making it tough for big rental car companies to rebuild.
Mccay runs his company on his home computer and phone. He was working a full-time IT job and renting cars on Turo. His wife, Wella Mccay, was concerned he was working too much.
“How are you going to handle this?” she asked him. “You can’t just rent our cars and then you’re working.”
He ended up quitting the job and now devotes all his time to Turo.
Mccay not only rents the cars he owns, but also other people’s vehicles.
“More people are jumping on it. That’s why I have a lot of investors leaving their cars and I’m renting them out for them, making them money passively,” Mccay said.
His luxury cars rent from between $75 to $175 a day depending on demand on www.rentluxurycarsforless.com.
His top car is a 2021 mid-engine C8 Corvette. He rents it for $499 a day. He owned another C8 earlier this year before a renter wrecked it on Interstate 295.
No one was hurt, but the car was totaled.
The renter had insurance and Mccay’s insurance reimbursed him for the car.
Mccay says chips, dings and wrecks is the price of doing business and said he’ll continue to compete against Hertz and Avis to give renters an experience they most likely will never forget.
The car rental shortage is easing a bit from earlier this year, but may be back again for the holidays.
Experts said the best advice is to reserve as early as possible, even if you are using car-rental apps like Turo.
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