Car sharing services like ZipCar have proven quite successful, now available in most major cities and on hundreds of university campuses. ZipCar’s model is to own, insure, and fuel its own vehicle fleet; users pay an annual membership fee and an hourly rental fee. And, as long as there’s a ZipCar near you, you’re set. WhipCar, on the other hand, has a new model for car sharing. Instead of investing in all the capital to make a car sharing service work, WhipCar has instead decided to rely on everyday car owners to supply its vehicle fleet. That’s right, with WhipCar, you sign up for a service that gives you access to neighbors’ cars who’ve agreed to share them when they’re not in use.
WhipCar has partnered with insurance companies to cover the guest driver. This insurance is in addition to the policy already associated with the vehicle. WhipCar owners also set their own prices, so users may see a fair amount of variation within their own neighborhoods. Once you’ve picked your car, you show up at an agreed-upon location with your booking number and driver’s license, and away you go!
So far, WhipCar is available only in London.