"What's exciting about this bill is it will facilitate more car sharing," said Assemblymember Dave Jones (D-Sacramento). Jones said personal car sharing reduces the need to own a car in the first place, lowers the cost of owning the car that you've already purchased and reduces overall traffic and parking problems. "This will allow us to take car-sharing to the next level."
Several services, such as Divvy Car and Relay Rides, already help individual car owners share their vehicles, though current California insurance laws permit insurers to void personal car insurance policies if owners receive compensation for the service. Unless drivers obtain a livery or commercial license, getting money for a ride has to be as informal as sharing gas expenses among a carpool. Other programs for helping seniors who are too old to drive, like the Independent Transportation Network and Neighbor Ride, rely on the goodwill of volunteers and charitable organizations.
If AB 1871 becomes law in California, drivers will be able to offer their own vehicles through car-sharing companies to a network of their choosing. Because cars are unused on average more than 90 percent of the time, owners could get money for an asset that is otherwise unused and depreciating.
"Usually the cost of owning a car is $400-800 a month, assuming it's a reasonably nice car," said Sunil Paul, CEO of car-share start-up Spride Share and a supporter of the bill. "If you earn a couple hundred bucks a month, that goes a long way toward covering your expenses."Read more...