Q&A on WhipCar: the site that lets you rent a car from your neighbours

Yes WhipCar is another online car rental service, but with a slight twist. This time you’re not just renting a car from a company with a car pool – you’re renting it from your neighbours. Yes, that’s right. From John down the road or Maureen next door.

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So who can rent out cars?
Anyone with a driver’s license over 21 can sign up to rent cars, and anyone who has a car can sign up to rent the vehicle out. WhipCar vets the cars it accepts and the drivers too.

So why would I want to drive someone else’s car?
Well maybe you don’t have a car and perhaps you just want one to go pick something up, take a trip to the shops or collect a friend from the airport. This will be cheaper than renting from a company and you’ll be able to pick up and drop the car off much closer to home.

Why would I want to let some randomer drive my car?
Well, because they pay you. Because you probably don’t use your car all the time and there are occasions when it’s sitting around in your drive doing nothing. Now it could be earning you money. According to the DVLA, the UK currently has 29 million registered passenger cars on the road, many of which are used for less than an hour a day (according to WhipCar) at an average cost of £5,523 per year to own.

Who pays for the petrol?
The person using the car. The lender and the driver meet up to hand the car over and fill in a WhipCar form assessing the amount of petrol in the car and the state of the car. It also agrees the drop-off and pick-up points for the car.

So what if I crash someone else’s car?
One of the things WhipCar has set up apart from the organisational framework is an insurance deal. When you pay WhipCar, they include an insurance premium and sometimes an excess in the price. So if you crash a car, the insurance covers it.

The name WhipCar reminds me of WhipLash.
Well, it shouldn’t. It should probably remind you more of Whip Round or give the suggestion that cars will be provided quickly and conveniently.

Okay. Why did WhipCar set this up? What’s in it for them?
Well they saw a problem – underused cars that they could solve and decided to set about doing it. And of course they’re making money too. They take a cut of what you

Some bold words from their Director, Tom Wright:

“We want to combat excess car capacity on the roads, make the cars that are already on them more efficient, and find a way to reward owners who make use of their extra car capacity. For drivers, we want to evolve the status-quo model of traditional car clubs and rental schemes to provide a local cost-effective rental solution. We’ve launched in London first due to the high volume of cars, but will be quickly looking at a nationwide rollout. Fundamentally, we believe WhipCar will completely transform the concept of car ownership and how cars are used and rented in the UK.”

So much would borrowing a car for 2 hours to go do some shopping cost?
They won’t actually say, it depends on the circustances of the borrowing and the length of time and any insurance points that pertain specifically to you. So, you
There are also cancellation fees and fines for keeping the car too long or getting parking tickets and suchlike. The drivers pay WhipCar and the owners get paid at the end of the month.

Does this rely on people being nice to other people?
Yes, it largely does. Though there is a code of conduct and insurance for when they’re not.

Car-share woo-hoo?

See more: WhipCar site

Anna Leach


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  • Thanks for that, so how much would it be for say an a day? Will it be cheaper than renting a car from Avis etc?

  • hey adam – you can rent it out for any time from 3hours to 1 month. you just need to find someone who agrees to rent it to you for that time…

  • How does it work, do you rent it out per hour or per day or week??!! Either way seems like a good idea.

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