Uber wants you to share

Few experiences are more nightmarish than booking a rental car. Long lines, endless paperwork, and ending up in a 2004 PT Cruiser despite asking for a 2018 Honda Civic. 

Uber’s betting that people would rather skip all that and just borrow someone else’s car instead. 

What happened: Uber’s new Carshare feature, which will launch first in Toronto and Boston, allows users to rent out their vehicles when they’re not using them to other drivers.

  • Car owners can set their own daily and hourly pricing with availability listed in 15-minute increments and vehicle insurance options available through Uber.

Why it matters: Vehicle shortages have made car ownership more expensive and pushed rental car prices up ~50% between 2019 to 2022, making peer-to-peer car sharing an increasingly attractive option for spendthrift road trippers. 

  • It also offers car owners a way to make a quick buck (and maybe pay off their insurance) while their cars sit idle, which, per one recent survey, is 96% of the time

Zoom out: Uber enters a crowded car share market featuring both established rental names and startups—the most notable of these is Turo, which had 2.9 million active renters globally last year and a presence in seven provinces, with upcoming plans to expand to Manitoba.—QH