In a surprising move, Ford is entering the car-sharing game. The auto giant is partnering with Getaround, a company that lets car owners lease out their vehicle for a few hours a day. Ford Motor Credit, the automaker’s finance subsidiary, is formally entering into a relationship with Getaround in several regional American markets and in the United Kingdom through a British firm, EasyCar Club.
The program is being touted as a cost-cutting opportunity for drivers who financed their cars through Ford. Customers will be encouraged to defray the cost of their payments by leasing out their cars during short periods of downtime to prescreened drivers through Getaround.
Meghan Murray, Getaround’s head of community, told Fast Company, “This is the first time we’ve entered into a partnership with an OEM at this level. We have done smaller deals with dealerships at the local level, but never at this scale.”
Getaround currently operates with drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland, Washington, D.C., and Chicago markets. Car owners mark the hours, days, or multiple days they can offer their vehicles up for use with Getaround, which also offers insurance policies and roadside support. According to Getaround, the company’s users earn an average of $521 monthly in San Francisco.
According to Ford Credit, the pilot will be offered in London through EasyCar Club as well. In an emailed statement, Ford said they benefit from the partnership both by getting potential customers to try Ford vehicles, and from firsthand experience about “consumer interest and usage of peer-to-peer vehicle rentals.”