You can now Airbnb your car while you're on holiday

You can now Airbnb your car while you’re on holiday

You can now Airbnb your car while you're on holiday

Travellers flying from Gatwick Airport are being given the opportunity to make money by renting out their car while they’re away.

Rather than paying expensive airport parking fees for leaving their car while they’re travelling, customers using Gatwick’s official Rent & Earn service can drop their car off at the airport and earn money from renting it out.

The total amount you earn depends on the make and model of your car, as well as how long you’re away for. Car & Away, the company running the service for Gatwick Airport, says you’ll earn 52 percent of the rental income for your car.

It adds that it will only be hired out to ‘carefully vetted renters’, and will be fully insured by Allianz and protected by RAC breakdown cover. A telematics unit will also be fitted to monitor how it’s driven while it’s rented.

There are some strict rules, too: for both renters and rentees. You can only hire out your car if you’re the registered keeper, it’s less than six years old and has covered less than 100,000 miles. It must be fully road-legal with tax, fully-comprehensive insurance and a valid MOT.

Renters must be residents of UK or Ireland, aged over 25 with a licence for more than two years and with no more than three penalty points.

All you need to do is book the Rent & Earn parking service at Gatwick’s South Terminal and they’ll advertise it to prospective hirers. You don’t need to pay anything up front – just drop it off at valet parking, and a member of staff will meet you and record the car’s condition.

Your car will be cleaned before he’s hired out, and again before you return. Although the company can’t guarantee that it’ll succeed in renting out your car, you’ll at least get discounted airport parking and you could earn up to £200 a week.

Opinion: this isn’t as mad as you may think

Handing over keys to a hire car

It’s easy to be horrified at the thought of letting a total stranger drive your car for anything up to a few weeks while you’re on holiday. Personally, I wouldn’t dream of using this service.

But let’s look at the advantages. For the same price as long stay parking, you get valet parking, saving you hassle at the airport. And then, obviously, you should earn the parking fee back in rent.

While car enthusiasts might snub the idea, most of us simply treat our car like an appliance. Let’s say you’ve got something relatively modern on a PCP deal, likely to be returned and swapped for a new model after a few years, are you really going to be that fussed about letting someone drive it?

We’re constantly being told that car sharing is the future. Being able to summon a car via an app will replace car ownership, and this is simply another step towards that. It’s right to be cynical, but don’t scoff just yet.

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