Renting your car out is an easy way to save money and offset the costs of car ownership, and it doesn’t need to take a lot of time and effort. Our instant booking system and lockbox mean that your neighbours can book, drive and return your car without needing to meet you. And if they enjoy their trip, they might just come back again and again. Here are our top tips for ensuring a smooth ride for everyone (and winning you some repeat customers).
Keep your calendar up to date
The number one rule of owning a shared car: always book it when you need to drive yourself. It takes a shift in mindset to remember to do this, but it’s the most important thing you can do to make the system work. If a borrower turns up to find your car AWOL, they’ll be less than impressed.
And if you do need your car when someone else has booked it, think twice before you cancel on them! You’ll likely lose a repeat customer and we might need to fine you. Plan ahead to book your car when you need it, and if something comes up at the last minute you can always jump online and borrow someone else’s car.
Keep your car reasonably clean
Your car doesn’t need to be showroom shiny all the time, but try to give it a quick once over after each booking. Borrowers are expected to return your car clean, but sometimes things can get missed so it’s a good idea to give it a five-minute check each time. A quick shake of the floor mats is often all it needs. If your car ever comes back unacceptably dirty, let us know so that we can follow up with the borrower and compensate you.
Try a personal touch
Some of our owners find that contacting their borrowers personally before a booking is a great way to communicate the most important instructions. All the information borrowers need is given to them during their booking, but if there’s anything you particularly want to highlight (like tricky parking instructions), sending them a text directly could help get the message across. It also reinforces the fact that they’re driving a car that belongs to a real person and that they should take care with it. Here’s a sample courtesy text that one of our owners sends to all her borrowers:
“Hey :) thanks for renting my van today. Make sure to drive carefully over speed bumps and please bring it back clean. There are some cleaning wipes in the glove box if you need them. Help yourself to the AUX cable and gum and have a great trip. Let me know if you need anything! Lucy”
You can keep the text of your welcome message in a note in your phone, so each time you can just copy and paste it, add in the borrower’s name and hit send.
Provide useful bits and pieces
Leaving useful things in your car can make your borrowers’ trips smoother and help turn them into repeat customers. Think of any helpful bits and bobs you use when you’re driving: phone charger, AUX cable, tissues, gum, water bottle, phone holder. Your borrowers will appreciate them and will come back next time.
Leave a review to say thanks
Had a great borrower? It pays to say thanks and encourage them to choose your car again. You can leave a review for your borrowers after their trips by logging into your dashboard. Give good borrowers a thumbs up and leave them a note to say thanks. You can also ask them to leave your car a good review too. Here’s a sample note one owner leaves for his borrowers:
“Thanks for taking great care of my car today! Hope you had a good trip. I’ve given you a thumbs up review for being a great borrower. If you enjoyed driving my car it would be great if you could give me a thumbs up too. My car and I would be happy to have you again next time you need a ride :)”
A thank you message is also a great way to follow up on any minor issues with the borrower directly. If they left something behind in your car you can arrange for them to come back and collect it. If they didn’t quite follow your parking instructions, a friendly correction will mean they’ll know exactly what to do next time. Of course, if you have any major issues with the way a borrower has treated your car you can always let us know so we can follow up, but smaller issues are quicker to sort out directly.