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Getaround’s new instant car-sharing service can help you get around

@denschaal

Sep 01, 2012 7:29 am

Skift Take

Whether it’s for vacation rentals or car-sharing, owners can sometimes take days to respond to a rental request. If Getaround expands the number of cars available and moves into new cities, then Instant Rental can be a quick way to resolve that dilemma.

— Dennis Schaal

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Do you need to rent a car for a few hours over Labor Day weekend?

Getaround.com, the startup car-sharing service that recently attracted $13.9 million in funding, has has rolled out a new feature, Instant Rentals, currently available in Chicago and San Francisco.

Photo courtesy Getaround.com

With Instant Rentals, you can view a purple sash around a photo of a 2009 BMW 128i Coupe in Chicago, renting for $14 per hour, or a 2006 BMW 330i sedan in San Francisco, available at $12.50 per hour, and rent them right away.

You can instantly reserve the car after selecting the Rent Now button, Getaround says.

Mobile unlocking feature

And, when you show up to use the car, just use the Getaround iPhone app or any smartphone with a mobile browser, and you can unlock the vehicle’s doors, and find the key inside, the company says.

The Instant Rental feature, introduced last month, is a nice alternative to having to wait for owners to reply to your rental inquiries. Without Instant Rental, you can make up to five inquiries at a time, but still have to take your chances on whether the owners will respond in a timely manner.

Getaround has an insurance policy covering both owners and renters, which should ease fears from people reluctant to use a car-sharing service.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and actor Ashton Kutcher are among the high-profile investors in Getaround.

Skift has not seen Mayer’s or Kutcher’s vehicles on Getaround available for rentals, instant or otherwise.

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