Retail

Auto Relocation, Sharing Economy Style

P2P Car Relocation Services

Peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces seek to make car relocation more accessible as they tackle the challenge of moving vehicles across the country. Consumers might put out a query online and be bombarded with responses when they first look to move said vehicles, a process that sometimes continues long after they have found a solution.

Vehicle delivery can also be a pain point for them. Consumers often find they can’t have their cars delivered directly to their homes or offices, but must meet a very large delivery truck in some other, more accessible space. Platforms like soon-to-launch affordable car relocation company ReloRides seek to remove that friction from the auto moving process.

“Our service takes away all these inconveniences in that it’s a door-to-door service,” said ReloRides co-founder and CEO Jamie Bowerman, in a recent interview with PYMNTS, adding that the auto owner determines when and where the driver will deliver that vehicle.

Car owners can interact with P2P car relocation services by listing their vehicles on the platforms and setting a price for how much they are willing to pay for the process. There isn’t a restriction on the type of auto that can be listed on the ReloRides platform, Bowerman said, but it must meet some standards. For starters, it must run well.

The need for ReloRides was based on a personal experience. Bowerman had to move a vehicle from Virginia to Oregon a few years before she came up with the idea for the company, and found the available services to be less than ideal. The car arrived days after she did and, when the truck finally pulled into town, Bowerman had to meet the driver in a store parking lot in the early morning hours.

The P2P Relocation Platform

P2P car relocation offerings could appeal to snowbirds and college students who need their vehicles driven to different states, she noted. They could also be useful for business people relocating in general.

ReloRides seeks to match car owners with vetted drivers. A driver visits the website and views the cars that need relocating, or can instead enter a vehicle’s origin and destination. When he or she decides to help move a vehicle, that potential driver is connected with the car’s owner. The owner can then view the driver’s profile — including information like a picture and hometown — to see if he or she is a good fit. The platform will ask the owner if he or she is comfortable with a driver having another person with him or her in the vehicle, in addition to other preferences.

Drivers who might be interested in driving with P2P platforms include travelers vacationing to a particular area, who might enjoy the benefit of getting paid to move a car while avoiding the purchase of a plane or train ticket. The service could appeal to drivers who live in two places and might not want to drive their own vehicles as they may already have cars at their destinations.

The Road Ahead

When it comes to the gig economy, 4 percent of ad-hoc jobs pursued by gig workers in the first and second quarters of 2018 were in transpiration and material moving, according to the most recent edition of the PYMNTS Gig Economy Index. Much like other companies in the gig and sharing economies, platforms such as ReloRides use a system of feedback: Owners can rate drivers and vice versa.

ReloRides also sets quality standards for the service. Drivers with ratings below 3.5 stars and owners with ratings below four stars will not be able to use the platform. Drivers also put down a deposit, and an owner makes a payment when selecting a driver — which is held until delivery — thereby ensuring payments security.

In terms of adoption, Bowerman sees that the way consumers view the sharing economy has evolved.

“The mentality today with the sharing economy is so different than it was five, definitely 10 years ago,” she said.

Consumers might have been skeptical at first, but they are now comfortable sharing houses and rides with other individuals. Conversely, platforms like ReloRides can help drivers and car owners shares vehicles to more efficiently move cars and people across the country.

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