How To: Pay Off Your Car in Half the Time by Renting It Out with OnStar

Pay Off Your Car in Half the Time by Renting It Out with OnStar

Most of the time, asking to borrow someone's car will elicit a really long string of excuses. But unlike letting your buddy use your car, which usually gets you nothing more than an empty tank, GM has found a way to make car sharing beneficial for everyone involved. If you're one of the 6 million people who have a GM vehicle that's connected to OnStar, you're in luck: according to an OnStar employee, you can make up to $1,000 a month just by letting other people rent out your car when you're not using it.

Last October, GM announced a partnership with a peer-to-peer car sharing service called RelayRides to help customers make extra cash by renting out their cars by the hour. The service just went live yesterday. Here's how it works.

Step 1: Sign Up and List Your Car

Create a profile on the RelayRides website and add photos and a description of your car. Be sure to include any details that you want renters to know, such as whether or not you'll allow smoking in your vehicle and how much per hour you want to charge.

Step 2: Review Your Requests

You'll receive a text or email when someone is interested in your listing, which you can then approve or deny.

Step 3: Leave Your Keys

The renter can unlock your car with the OnStar app, so just leave the keys in the glove box and you don't even have to leave the house. If you're uncomfortable letting someone take your baby without meeting them first, you can arrange an in-person transaction.

Step 4: Check Your Mailbox

RelayRides will send you a check each month for the amount you earned. It's that simple!

Of course, in a situation like this, security is a concern. RelayRides covers you for $1,000,000 in liability insurance and each renter for $300,000. Also, if you're renting through OnStar you have another added layer of security: if someone tries to take off with your car, it can be located and even stopped through OnStar's Stolen Vehicle Retrieval. You can also use the app to see where the car is at any time via GPS location.

Naturally, the usefulness of this service will be in part determined by where you live. Those who live in larger cities or metropolitan areas will probably have better luck, but the service is available everywhere. So if you want to make some extra money without actually doing much of anything, this service may just be perfect for you.

Cover image by Legal Entry LTD

4 Comments

Maybe it's about time I finally turned OnStar on in my car. But I'm curious as to whether or not it would actually cover the cost of the minimal $199 annual OnStar plan. If I rented mine out at $8/hr, it'd take 25 hours to payoff the plan (not including taxes). I wonder how popular RelayRides is in my area.

I think it all depends on how often your car is just sitting around and how comfortable you are with the idea of letting people you don't know take off in it. If you drove to work, then rented the car out while you were working, it would pay for itself in no time. But you're right, it also depends a lot on how many people in your area actually use the service.

Sounds like a liability nightmare...you rent your car out, it is used in some sort of illegal activity...all problems come back to you and now the police have your car...What about parking tickets of the ever present red light cameras...tickets come directly to you...you try to be reimbursed and explain to your insurance carrier what transpired...can you say canceled insurance? And what about the enterprising fellow who replaces you good car parts with his defective car parts...sound like a cheap way to shop for a new motor or tranny...I don't think so

You bring up a lot of good points here. Their insurance probably covers the "crime" part, but you'd surely be looking for a rental yourself if it was a serious crime. I imagine it covers that, too. And it seems they have the speeding and parking tickets thing figured out, so that doesn't seem to be a big issue. But the parts swap... now that's got me worried.

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