Car Sharing vs. Car Rental

It has never been easier to reserve a vehicle when you need to use one. Cars are now available at just the click of a button on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Car rentals for vacation, personal travel, and business have grown from just booking with car rental companies exclusively to more modern options, such as Avail, which is car sharing. For those that don’t know what car sharing is, there are many differences between how you reserve the two, and the way insurance works when renting a car from a P2P car rental.

Car Sharing Defined

Car sharing is considering renting a vehicle for a short period of time, either from a private owner or via a P2P car rental company. It’s not the same as ride-sharing services like Uber. Instead, it offers customers a personal vehicle to rent for a short period of time. All reservations and payments are overseen by a third-party company. Rentals are organized online for pickup or delivery. 

You can compare it to Airbnb. Rather than booking directly with a hotel company, you are renting another person’s property for a short period of time. Except with car sharing, you borrow a car. 

Car sharing works when a private car owner lists their vehicle for rent through a car-sharing company. They will then give the car owner a user profile that is displayed online. It is the owner’s duty to keep the car in excellent condition. This means that they have to arrange for servicing, repairs, and general maintenance. 

Those who are considering renting a car will browse the site for a vehicle online that fits their needs. They will then choose an insurance plan for their travel. Many companies will request all expenses to be paid prior to renting the car. 

Pickup or delivery of the vehicle will then be arranged, depending on any additional expenses. Once completed, the car owner may meet you for an introduction on how to work the vehicle. Once the trip has been completed, the car will then be returned to its owner where the third-party company will clean the vehicle.

Car Sharing vs. Car Rental

There are many ways that car rentals and car-sharing differ from one another, including the way they operate, the service you will receive from the company, and the type of vehicle available. One of the biggest differences between the two is that car sharing is considered separate from car rental and has different regulations. Other differences are mentioned below. 

Car Rental

  • Vehicles are rented to you by the rental company, from a group of cars.
  • Cars are always kept up by the car rental company, following state laws.
  • Locations are available throughout the state and globally and can be found in various cities, towns, and airports.
  • Any car that is rented can be delivered by the rental company or arranged for pick-up.
  • Various safety guidelines are in place for young drivers with minimum ages to rent a car.

Car Sharing

  • All cars are rented to you through a private car owner via a car-sharing company.
  • Vehicle maintenance is the responsibility of the car owner.
  • Car sharing is available across the country, but not in all cities and towns.
  • Cars can be delivered by the car owner or arranged for pick-up.
  • Car sharing companies may include age limits for younger drivers, but it depends on the company.


When it comes to insurance, you should double-check your personal insurance policy prior to reserving a rental car or car share. Many car-sharing companies offer commercial auto insurance for owners involved and renters. When you rent, you can count on your own personal insurance policy or you can pay additional for more benefits. 

Car rental companies allow customers to use their own personal insurance policy if it protects rental vehicles in addition to their personal vehicles. If not, you will have to purchase coverage through the company.




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I'm Crystal. I'm married to Dale, and mother to Johnny.Some might say that my life is perfect because I get to do all the cliché wife things like cooking, cleaning, and decorating - but there's more! I also have many hobbies including needlework (crochet), sewing, and reading. My son's education is important, so we homeschool him together.

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