Thanks to gig economy apps, there has never been more opportunity to start your own side hustle.
Similarly, you can always turn to the classic rideshare jobs, like driving for Uber or Lyft.
But, if you don’t have access to a car, many of these gigs aren’t an option.
And, on the flip side, if you’re strapped for time or are interested in mostly passive income sources, the gig economy might not be for you…
So today, we’re going to examine HyreCar, a company that lets owners rent out their vehicles to side hustlers who want to participate in the gig economy.
This company is trying to do some interesting things for the sharing economy, but this HyeCar review will break down if HyreCar is worth it for drivers and owners alike.
Let’s get to it!
What Is HyreCar?
HyreCar is a carsharing marketplace that’s specifically for ridesharing.
While companies like Turo and GetAround focus on general peer-to-peer vehicle rentals, HyreCar is only for the gig economy.
The dual-sided marketplace lets owners rent out their cars to Uber, Lyft, and food delivery drivers.
For HyreCar drivers, this platform lets them participate in the gig economy and to boost their income when it might have otherwise been impossible.
HyreCar has been steadily growing as well, and after looking into the platform, two things surprised me:
- According to an investor press release, HyreCar’s revenue was $5.8 million, compared to $3.5 million in 2019, an increase of 65%. Rental days also reached nearly 230,000 in Q1, 2020.
- HyreCar is actually listed on NASDAQ with the ticker HYRE. I guess this is a third way to make money with HyreCar if you believe in the company!
Now, net loss in the first quarter of 2020 still totaled $4.1 million, or ($0.25) per share, so time will tell if growth and profitability are possible.
Clearly, this company is currently in a growth stage and is looking to solidify the niche in the car rental marketplace.
The question is, how does it all work?
How Does Hyrecar Work For Drivers?
If you want to start a gig job but need a vehicle, becoming a HyreCar driver is an option.
According to HyreCar, there are numerous benefits to using the platform, including:
- You set your own hours.
- You can earn $15 to $20 per hour on average, depending on the company you’re working for and conditions in your city.
- You get plenty of tax deductions.
In terms of driver requirements, HyreCar is also pretty straightforward.
Since you’re driving for a rideshare company, HyreCar essentially has the same requirements as Lyft and Uber.
This article breaks them down per state, but generally, you must:
- Be 21 or older.
- Have a valid driver’s license for at least one year.
- Have an existing, approved rideshare account for the company you’re driving for.
- Not have major driving violations or more than 2 minor violations within the last 3 years.
- Your vehicle has to meet state requirements according to the rideshare company you drive for.
If you meet these requirements, you can start making money with HyreCar.
HyreCar operates in every U.S. state, and the renting a car only takes 4 steps.
1. Create AN Account & Choose Cars
To signup for HyreCar, you just need to enter your name, email address, and phone number. The process takes all of a minute.
After you signup, you’ll see a catalog of cars that are available for rent in your area:
You can sort by price, distance, and location. If you live in a major city, you’ll probably find a decent selection of vehicles to rent.
HyreCar suggests that you book 5 to 10 cars simultaneously to increase “your chances of getting the car you want, just in case some of your other choices become unavailable. You’re only charged for the car you’re approved to drive.”
You have to input the dates you want your car for, and there’s a 2 day rental minimum, so keep this in mind.
2. Background Check & Documents
Once you’ve selected several cars, you fill out payment information. If you use a debit card, a refundable $200 deposit gets held until your rental period is over, so use a credit card if you can.
If you’re a new HyreCar driver, you must consent to a background check. This only takes a few hours according to HyreCar.
If a vehicle owner approves your rental request, HyreCar sends 3 documents you have to upload to your Uber/Lyft driver accounts:
- Vehicle registration.
- The vehicle’s 19-point inspection report.
- Your HyreCar rideshare insurance.
Rideshare insurance is sent to you 24 hours before you pick up your rental. You also pay upfront for your rental days.
I’ll get into the insurance plans later on in this HyreCar review, because it honestly deserves a separate section.
3. Pickup Car
Once Uber or Lyft verify your documents, you can pickup your rental vehicle.
Arrange a pickup time and place for your vehicle with the owner through the HyreCar app. Once you arrive, inspect the vehicle for any signs of interior and exterior damage or scuffs so you don’t get blamed for them. Take pictures of the vehicle regardless of the condition.
After you get the keys, you’re all set to start hustling!
You paid upfront for your rental, so ideally, you know exactly how much you have to earn from being a rideshare driver to make a profit after factoring in your fuel expenses, rental price, and insurance policy.
4. DROP OFF
Once your rental is up, you can extend the rental or return it.
Extending through the HyreCar app just takes a simple request, and your insurance and rental charge automatically get extended if the owner approves.
If you drop off the car, arrange a time and place with the owner. They’ll inspect the car, and if there aren’t any problems, they confirm the drop off in the HyreCar app through the owner side of the platform.
How Does Insurance Work?
The first thing to note is that HyreCar is not an insurance company!
They provide insurance for drivers, but this is done through their list of insurance partners.
According to HyreCar: “Drivers are not required to have a personal insurance policy to rent vehicles on our platform, however, Owners are required to have up to date personal and/or other insurance coverage required by law.”
The fact that you don’t need personal insurance as a driver seems pretty ridiculous, but it doesn’t actually matter that much.
HyreCar’s insurance covers you when you pick up a vehicle from the owner but haven’t started working yet.
Once you start driving for Uber or Lyft, their insurance policies take over. Since Uber and Lyft require their drivers to have personal auto insurance, I don’t believe there’s any way to avoid this cost.
As a HyreCar driver, here’s what’s covered:
- Liability to third-parties for bodily injury and property damage resulting from the use of the rented vehicle, up to the minimum liability coverage required by state law.
- Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) in those few states where PIP coverage is required by law and cannot be waived.
- Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (“UM/UIM”) up to the statutory minimum amount in those few states where UM/UIM coverage is required by law and cannot be waived.
Again, the main takeaway is that “No additional coverage is provided by HyreCar’s insurance partner(s) while the transportation network company’s application is on. This, for example, occurs when a driver is enroute (Period Two) or when the Driver is in on an active trip (Period Three). Rideshare services within the gig economy may have varying coverage plans.”
The graph above looks a bit convoluted, so it’s worth taking some time to review.
But, in a nutshell, HyreCar covers you before and after you work for your rideshare company of choice. While you’re on the job, Uber or Lyft cover you.
How MUCH DOES HYRECAR Cost For Drivers?
HyreCar has 4 main expenses for drivers:
- Rental price.
- Transaction fees.
Let’s take a look at a basic HyreCar rental option for an idea of how this cost stacks up:
Renting this 2012 Toyota Prius for 7 days costs $293.90.
HyreCar insurance is $13 per day, and there’s also a 10% transaction fee. The daily rental price is $31.
You can get up to 20% off if you book a car for 30 days. If you did this, this car would cost $1,208 for the entire month.
$1,208 is honestly pretty hefty. When you factor in the fees from the rideshare company you end up driving for plus your fuel costs, it’s clear that margins are getting squeezed.
Honestly, renting for 30 days seems like a requirement to make serious money with HyreCar. Committing to anything less really hurts your profits.
If you can commit to a month of hustling and know your margins to a tee, HyreCar is worth looking into…maybe.
However, this is all math at the end of the day.
If you factor in the opportunity cost of doing all this driving and paying 2 middlemen (HyreCar and the fees for whatever company you drive for) I find this hard to be sustainable.
In my opinion, you might be better off just becoming a bike courier for Uber Eats or DoorDash and cutting out HyreCar completely.
HyreCar For Owners – A Viable Source Of Passive Income?
Honestly, between the 10% transaction fee and other costs, I think the ideal HyreCar driver has to be working in the gig economy full-time or close to it for the costs to make sense. Even then, I’m not too convinced.
However, I’m still intrigued if HyreCar owners can make some decent passive income by renting out their asset.
You can actually signup for HyreCar as a fleet owner, rental car company, or personal owner. We’re going to examine the process for personal owners in this HyreCar review.
Time to break down the steps!
1. Create Your Listing
Listing your car on HyreCar is similar to listing on Airbnb.
You have to put some effort into your listing to make it stand out. High quality photos, a decent description, responding to rental questions, and pricing competitively are all important.
To create your listing, you provide:
- Your address, basic car information and photos.
- Proof of registration, insurance, and the 19 point inspection (basically take your car to a mechanic and have them inspect your car’s safety. Uber and Lyft have slightly different requirements).
- Your rental price.
2. Choose Protection Plan
Like Turo, your level of owner protection influences how much money you make with HyreCar.
Here’s what each plan covers:
To be clear, HyreCar drivers pay for gas and must return your car with a full tank. The gas coverage just reimburses you if your renter returns the tank with missing fuel.
Depending on your coverage, you keep between 75% to 85% of all bookings.
The main takeaway here is you only get $25,000 in physical damage coverage.
This means HyreCar is obviously for cars under this value, unlike platforms like Turo which also have a range of luxury vehicles.
3. Rent Your Car
Once you’re approved as a HyreCar owner and get some interest, it’s time to rent your car!
Like Airbnb, you should make an effort to clean and maintain your car if you want positive reviews. Also remember to take a photo of your vehicle’s interior, exterior, and the odometer.
You set mileage allowances in your rental, and HyreCar protects you to an extent if the driver exceeds their mileage. Mileage is set at a default minimum of 250 miles/day. If the Driver goes over the mileage limit, there is a fee of $0.25 per mile.
If you find a driver you feel comfortable renting to, meet them, hand off the keys, and sit back while your vehicle earns.
4. Pickup & Getting Paid
When the driver returns your car, inspect it for damage and confirm the drop off to conclude the rental period.
HyreCar schedules payments within 2 to 3 business days and you can easily track your earnings through your owner’s dashboard via the app or website.
Dealing With Issues
Ideally, your time as a HyreCar owner is mostly a fun exercise in passive earnings.
However, if you encounter issues, you should know what to do.
Firstly, driver’s are responsible for reporting damages. Driver’s also follow up with Lyft, Uber, and any third party claims.
Whatever the case, if your vehicle is damaged, you file a claim with HyreCar.
Once you file a claim, a “representative will be assigned to your case and contact you to guide you through the claims process. Damage claim cases on average take 2 to 8 weeks to process and reach a settlement.”
You also have to act fast. According to HyreCar, “Owners have up to 24 hours after the return of the vehicle to file a claim on any damages that occurred on the vehicle during the specific rental period.”
This is the same requirement as companies like Turo, so ensure you take photos, inspect your car, and process claims quickly.
Other HyreCar Reviews
As always, checking what other people have to say is a good idea if you’re on the fence about using a certain service. For something as important as renting a car, this is even more critical.
Let me start out by saying that usually, negative reviews outweigh positive ones because angry people are more inclined to review something than happy customers.
In HyreCar’s case, this also seems to be true. However, seeing as a lot of the 5-star reviews I see on BBB or TrustPilot are all of 5 words, I honestly think the positive reviews are largely fake,
Long story short, HyreCar seems dicey at best for owners AND drivers.
This Reddit thread has a pretty stinging review that complains of a lack of customer support for HyreCar drivers:
Another thread, which is a bit old, granted, also shows how the pricing model and low margins makes this a tough sell:
Obviously I’m cherry-picking here, but these are valid concerns that make sense given how the pricing structure works out.
Again, HyreCar has a 4.2 score on Trust Pilot, but seriously, so many of the reviews seem fake if you ask me.
But guess what, all then negative reviews are more in-depth and don’t seem like they’re written by a robot.
This is a pretty common trend with most peer-to-peer car rental platforms…a lengthy claims process, and a tough road to getting your money back if your car is damaged.
So, HyreCar might be useful for testing the rideshare marketplace for viability or if you have absolutely no alternatives.
HyreCar VS Turo
For a little bit of added spice to this HyreCar review, let’s take a quick look at Turo and HyreCar from the owner’s perspective.
For starter’s, let’s take a look at Turo’s host protection plans:
So, if you want to rent out a luxury car or want more protection, Turo is definitely the right choice.
Now, Turo also has has plenty of horror stories about denied claims or length settlement processes:
Clearly, using a car rental platform is a risk, regardless of the platform you use.
I think this means that the bottom line is, these platforms can be lucrative, but you have to understand your coverage to a tee and act immediately if there’s damage.
You also shouldn’t risk your only vehicle as an owner, and treat car rental like you’d treat other highly speculative, risky investments.
I will say that one pro of HyreCar over Turo is that you’re renting your car to people who are focused on generating income, not whipping around the city in a rental.
I’ve had friends who rented an Audi off of Turo for a long weekend, and guess what we did with the car?
We drove that damn thing like we were in a Fast and Furious movie all over town.
As a gut feeling, I find it hard to see HyreCar driver Bob, who’s working for DoorDash, stunt driving with your 2009 Prius.
Regardless, don’t expect any driver to ever treat your vehicle with the same level of respect as you would. This is a risky investment if you ask me.
HyreCar Pros & Cons
Time to wrap up my review of HyreCar with some quick pros and cons!
- Available across the U.S.
- Lets you test the waters of the gig economy or subsidize your income if your vehicle breaks.
- Better revenue share than Turo if you have a vehicle under $25,000.
- Incredibly tight margins. I don’t think being a HyreCar driver is worth the time unless you book for 30 days and are in a lucrative rideshare market.
- Plenty of horror stories for renters and owners.
- Upfront payment for your rental…I wonder how easy it is to get this money back if something happens mid-rental.
I honestly love the idea behind peer-to-peer marketplaces like HyreCar and Turo.
After all, the gig economy does an excellent job at making things more affordable thanks to the simple power of supply and demand and cutting out corporations from the entire process.
This beauty of the gig economy is, ultimately, why I think HyreCar falls a bit short.
The entire point of the sharing economy is to keep middlemen out of the equation and to let you do what you want…Instead, HyreCar adds another chunk of fees to the equation.
If you want to try out rideshare driving or have no other option, you can consider signing up for HyreCar.
Similarly, if you want to use a car under $25,000 as a somewhat speculative income generating asset and can afford to eat the loss, being an owner is an option.
Personally, this platform isn’t for me. I just wanted to lay out the info from my perspective and to help anyone out there make a more informed decision.
If you’ve ever used a car rental marketplace to make money, let me know in the comments!
I’ll catch you guys in the next one!
Signup for HyreCar and help support This Online World if you’re interested! Otherwise, I definitely suggest checking out other gig economy apps and ways to make money online if this company isn’t for you.
Tom is a 23 year old recent college graduate from Canada with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and marketing. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
If you’re interested in freelance writing services or want to partner with This Online World, please visit Tom Blake Digital to get in touch!