Los Angeles is being invaded by transportation app companies. First it was Lyft, Uber and Sidecar. And now get ready for FlightCar, a "peer-to-peer" car rental company that launched this week at LAX.
See also: How I Hacked My Vacation.
The app lets you rent out your car -- and get free parking -- while you travel out of LAX. The Ryan Seacrest–backed company experienced some turbulence in San Francisco, where authorities said the firm had to follow rules established for rental car companies at the airport:
CEO Rujul Zaparde told us at yesterday's launch that it has been smooth sailing at LAX. (The company hopes to settle the San Francisco City Attorney's lawsuit out of court.) Zaparde:
We really don't anticipate issues here. We've had a good deal of signups so far.
FlightCar says that because it hires permitted ground transportation companies to take car renters to the airport from its lot, it will avoid legal troubles at LAX.
The way the app works is that you fill out a few items online, bring your car to LAX's Lot C, get free parking and a car wash, and earn an estimated $10 to $20 a day as people rent out your ride while you're away. More info here.
See also: Ride-Sharing Apps Fight Back.
People who rent your ride end up paying 50 to 70 percent less than they would for a traditional rental car, the company says.
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The firm -- with operations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston so far -- says outright that it wants a piece of the $11 billion car rental market. But it also says it's not a car rental company.
"We consider ourselves a car-to-car sharing company," Zaparde says.
Nonetheless, business grew at a 40 percent clip in summer, the firm says. We expect that will continue if things stay smooth at LAX.