How to Make Money with Your Car Using RelayRides

RelayRides is a car rental agency where the entire fleet is provided by private car owners. If you own a vehicle, you can make money by renting out your car to pre-screened renters. During the rental period, RelayRides’ one million dollar insurance policy will cover you for a million dollars in liability as well as the cash value of your vehicle.

People interested in making money on their cars with RelayRides can check it out by clicking here.

How Much Money Can You Make With Your Car on RelayRides?

According to Steven Webb at RelayRides, the average car owner in the United States doesn’t use their car for 92% of the time they own it. RelayRides’ mission is to let people to take advantage of that huge chunk of automobile downtime.

make money on your car relayrides

“A car is a depreciating asset,” says Webb. “So our marketplace enables people to flip that equation on its head. The average active owner renting out a car on RelayRides made $470 last month. To put that in perspective, the average cost of owning a vehicle per month is somewhere between $200 to $250 a month. So if you think about it, by participating in RelayRides, you’re at the very least able to offset the costs completely of owning a vehicle.”

How Often Do You Have to Rent Your Car to Make Money?

According to Webb, the average owner on RelayRides rents out their car for a couple of weekends or a few days each month. The money you make depends heavily on the type of car you’re renting out. If you’re renting out a Tesla Model S, you can make $290 for a one day rental. If you’re renting out a Honda Civic or something comparable, it may take a little bit more than a week to hit that $470 a month average.

make money on your car relayrides tell us

The screen grab above from RelayRides’ website shows their car owner rental form.

“In any event.” says Webb, “it’s only going to be about a third of a month or less that you’re renting out your car to make that money.”

Make a Little More Money By Offering Delivery

make money on your car relayrides deliveryIt’s up to the owner of the vehicle to decide if they want to offer delivery, and whether they want to offer free delivery or charge a fee. The average active owner can charge anywhere from $0 to $120 to deliver their car either to an airport or to a custom location.

“It entirely depends on the owner’s preference,” says Webb. “On average, people that offer delivery make around 17% more than people who don’t. That’s both because they make more money through the fee and because they’re more likely to rent their car if they offer some form of delivery. Even people who offer free delivery can make a little bit more because their car is going to be in higher demand.”

What Kinds of Car Owners Make Money on Their Cars With RelayRides?

Thousands of car owners currently make money by renting out their cars with RelayRides throughout the United States. The service has rental cars available in over 2,500 cities throughout the U.S. and at over 300 airports.

make money on your car relayrides how it works

“When we first launched in 2010,” says Webb, “our members were urban, young, well educated folks, but now it’s across a broader spectrum. We have folks that are saving up for their retirement that are using RelayRides to help pad their retirement savings, we have single moms, young people who maybe don’t need their car quite as frequently as they used to, parents that have had a kid go away to college, and all kinds of other folks.”

There are some stipulations on who can make money on their car by renting it out with RelayRides. For owners, the year of the car must be 2005 or newer and it must have fewer than 100,000 miles on it, and a fair market value of up to $75,000.

“We don’t allow vehicles that are valued above $75,000,” says Webb.

The RelayRides Insurance Policy

make money with your car relayrides insuranceThe RelayRides insurance policy covers all owners who rent out their cars with RelayRides for the cash value of their vehicle plus a million dollars in liability coverage. The policy has no deductible for owners. For renters, the deductible depends on the level of coverage they select. Some renters will be covered by their personal insurance policy and can decline additional coverage altogether.

The RelayRides insurance policy acts as the primary policy on the vehicle during rentals, meaning that if there’s an accident, RelayRides’ insurance is on the hook, not the car owner’s insurance. That means any accident or incident that happens when you rent out your car with RelayRides won’t affect your premiums.

What About Wear and Tear?

According to Webb, car owners who rent out their cars with RelayRides don’t see significant extra costs from wear and tear on their vehicles. For proof, check out the science behind the claim on their blog by clicking here.

Get Marketing Money From RelayRides

make money on car moneyIt’s obviously a little easier to make money on your car in urban areas with RelayRides, where there’s a larger pool of people looking to rent cars. However, some people in less densely populated areas still manage to make money on their cars with RelayRides by taking advantage of their marketing reimbursement offer. Through the offer, owners get reimbursed for up to 50% of the money they spend marketing their car rental offer.

“We have folks renting their cars in rural areas, in Anchorage, Alaska,” says Webb, “in suburban Atlanta, and in downtown San Francisco. There may not be quite as much demand in rural areas or suburban areas in certain respects, but we offer our members a pretty competitive owner marketing compensation where we’ll help them pay for marketing of their own vehicle. So through that, some people have been very successful about generating interest for their vehicles in less densely populated areas.”

make money on car marketingThe marketing methods are left up to the car owners, but Relay Rides reimburses owners for 50% of the money they spend on marketing efforts, up to $50 total per month.

“You can buy your own Google keywords,” says Webb. “You can create a Facebook page for your car. Some people take out ads on Craigslist or even boost their vehicle’s page on Facebook or print out flyers. If you spend $100, you’ll get 50% of that back for up to $100 spent. So you can get $50 a month from RelayRides for marketing expenses.”

Who Rents Cars From RelayRides?

make money from car relayrides membersThe average person that uses RelayRides is a traveler or someone who needs to use a car for a specialty purpose. For example, if you live in San Francisco or New York, maybe you have a Smart Car or a Prius or something that’s better for an urban environment, but you want to go to Lake Tahoe to go skiing. In that case, with RelayRides, you can rent your neighbor’s all wheel drive vehicle.

“For renters of vehicles,” says Webb, “it’s great because compared to traditional rental car companies you’re saving 30% on average by renting from someone on RelayRides than from a traditional rental car company. In addition to that, we have an unbeatable selection of vehicles.”

Big Selection

make money on car relayrides selectionWith traditional car rental companies, customers select a category of vehicle and then aren’t generally sure what car they’ll get until they arrive at the car rental lot and are handed the keys to their Chevy Aveo. RelayRides has over 800 makes and models of vehicles.

“You get the exact car that you want,” Webb says. “So we have this unbeatable selection that provides everyone from a car enthusiast to some utilitarian driver who just needs to get from point A to point B with exactly what they want. That’s a great opportunity, especially for car enthusiasts. If you want a Tesla S or a Corvette or a BMW, we have plenty of those on the RelayRides marketplace.”


In addition to value and selection, RelayRides offers convenience. Quite often, renters are going to a neighbor’s house or down the block to pick up a car, rather than to a central lot or an airport. In addition, RelayRides offers delivery options for people to pick up a car or to have the car delivered to them either for free or for a fee that the owner sets.