Baby, you can rent my car

U.S. OnStar subscribers have an easy way to turn idle wheels into cold cash

Published: July 22, 2012, 9:00 PM
Updated: November 22, 2021, 3:48 PM

Relay Rides partners with General Motors to give OnStar subscribers an easy money-making option. -

General Motors has joined up with RelayRides peer-to-peer car sharing service to offer a U.S. national car sharing option to OnStar subscribers. Subscribers can now rent out their vehicles when they're not using them through the RelayRides marketplace, using the OnStar connectivity in their GM vehicles to help make a few bucks.

Renters can unlock reserved OnStar-enabled vehicles using their smart phones, making RelayRides the first third-party developer to integrate with OnStar's proprietary application program interface, which they'll make available to other developers later this summer.

Without installing expensive aftermarket hardware or having to meet renters to hand off keys, GM vehicles owners can add a little something to their incomes.

"General Motors, through OnStar, and RelayRides have joined forces to create an entirely new mobility solution for U.S. drivers interested in more affordable, sustainable and collaborative automobile options,” said Nick Pudar vice-president, OnStar Strategy and New Business Development. "Our exclusive relationship with RelayRides provides an exciting new choice: the first automobiles to run on collaborative consumption."

RelayRides became the first national peer-to-peer car-sharing enterprise in 2012, after launching in 2010 in Boston and San Francisco. The company backs up its reservations with a $1 million insurance policy for owners and $300,000 for renters. Peer-to-peer car sharing is becoming more common and, with community car sharing companies like ZipCar, is increasingly providing consumers with alternatives to ownership.