Reporting Michelle Roberts
BOSTON (CBS) – It’s a whole new spin on car rentals. It’s called car sharing and it’s taking off near Logan Airport.
“FlightCar” not only saves travelers money on a rental but on parking. Instead of paying $27 a day at Central Parking or $18 a day at the Economy Lot, FlightCar customers can park for free just one mile from Logan.
“FlightCar is the first peer-to-peer car sharing company that supports airports,” explains Rujul Zaparde the 18-year-old co-founder & CEO of the company.
Drivers who park at FlightCar and then head out of town get to park for free because chances are a stranger will be renting out your car while you’re gone. Car owners who let FlightCar rent out their vehicles are protected by up to $1 million in insurance. They can also make money if their car is rented out; $10 flat for older cars or $10 a day for newer models. The combination of insurance and free parking was enough to convince Barry Polsky of Somerville to give it a try, “free parking at the airport and maybe pick up a couple of extra bucks.”
Zaparde says renters save, too.
“We have the best rates and people tend to rent very quickly,” he says. “An economy rental with us costs about $21 a day.”
A first time customer tells us she saved more than $100 by picking FlightCar instead of a traditional car rental company.
“I don’t need a new car. It’s going to get me where I want to go. It’s cleaner than the car I drive at home what more could I ask for,” says Denise Dojka of Chicago.
Not everyone is on board this car sharing idea. FlightCar is being sued in San Francisco because they don’t have a license to operate at the airport.
“The airport wants to put us in the bucket of ‘we’re a traditional car rental company’ but we’re not.” says Zaparde.
Massport officials here in Boston are not suing but they do have some concerns saying, “Massport does not have an operating agreement with the company and therefore we cannot ascertain if they provide the levels of safety, security and customer service that we expect from companies that do business at Logan Airport. We are aware of the suit brought by San Francisco Airport and will follow it closely.”
FlightCar realizes car sharing is not for everyone.
“We found that about 20-percent of people would actually list their car with us. Eighty percent said no,” Zaparde explains.
But with free perks like parking and GPS they hope the 20-percent will convince their friends to give it a try.