AUSTIN (KXAN) - Big events in Austin like South By Southwest, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and the soon-to-be-here Formula One U.S. Grand Prix race bring huge crowds to the city.
Visitors find places to eat and sleep—and now—they can find a new way to get around town. Locals are finding ways to drive home a profit during those types of big events.
Many people are familiar with websites like HomeAway.com —where homeowners can rent their houses to visitors.
Now, a similar concept is gaining momentum in the Capital City. Getaround is a car-sharing program that allows Austinites to list their personal vehicles online and rent them out hourly, daily or weekly.
"Every month I get two or three rentals—maybe more," said Kevin Stanley, who uses the service, "Sometimes, it's just somebody who rides their bike to my house and rents the car for three hours and then comes back. Or sometimes, I'll have people from out of town rent it for a whole week so they can get around town."
Stanley started renting his Toyota Prius in March, when Getaround first came to Austin.
"This car in particular is $6 an hour, $40 a day and $150 a week," Stanley said of his vehicle.
The website makes it simple. Users can list their cars for rent, setting their own rates. Or, users can find a car to rent by scrolling through and checking out the models and prices.
"Just this week we hit over 100 cars," said Lucia Briones, a marketer with Getaround in Austin.
She said the company expects that number to grow with the demand for rental cars in the upcoming months, when music fans and race fans pack the city.
Listed vehicles are owned by people living right in the area—keeping business local.
"The money stays in the community. Owners keep 60 percent of the rate that they set," Briones said.
For Stanley, that's proved to be pretty good payoff.
"Just this past week, I paid off my next six months on my car insurance with the money that I've made since March," Stanley said.
Briones assures—no worries while your car is in someone else's hands. The cars are fully insured by Getaround during rentals.
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