By Cornelia Ineichen, CISL SF  Student

 Getaround-Photo-1Usually, as a student in a foreign country, you don’t own a car there. Of course, San Francisco offers a lot of possibilities with public transport, taxis etc. But what about the freedom of driving pleasure?

This is where Getaround comes into play. This online service allows you to rent a car from a private owner for a fair price. You can choose between hundreds of cars located all over San Francisco.

How It Works

The car owner creates an online profile for their car and sets hourly, daily or weekly rates. He can determine whom he wants to rent to, when he wants to rent, and sets personal standards for the “quality” of the driver. The service uses a reputation management system with review and ratings so owners and renters can get a sense of whom they’re dealing with.

Most of the owners choose to install the “Getaround Carkit” as an alternative to the standard key exchange before and after a rental. Using GPS, WiFi and keyless remote technology, the carkit allows renters and owners to open and lock the car using their mobile phone. Consequently they don’t have to meet in person, all the communication is based online.


As a renter you must be 19 years or older, with at least 2 years driving experience and a valid Facebook account (as an extra security layer). Traffic police records are required for a membership with Getaround, with certain ineligibility based on “incidents”, major violations, and alcohol-related violations. You can get this record at your road traffic-licensing department in your home country.


Getaround provides comprehensive, collision and liability insurance coverage via a third-party insurer. During the active rental period, this coverage supersedes the personal insurance policy maintained by the private car owner.

Logo_GetaroundI used the Getaround services a couple times already and I was always very pleased. The cars are in good condition, easy to locate, and the communication with the owners is always a pleasure.

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