NEWARK, N.J. — Would you share your car with a perfect stranger? A new company in the region hopes so.
FlightCar has landed near Newark Liberty. This tech startup will pay for you to keep your car in their lot the next time you're away.
“We think families will find comfort not paying the long-term fees and be able to rent for a little bit cheaper," said Ryan Adlesh, FlightCar's head of expansion.
Speaking from their Frelinghuysen Avenue garage, Adlesh explained how the company also provides a free cleaning. The catch? They'll rent the car to a person you've never met.
“We do a DMV background check and for international travelers, we do an abstract of their driving record, so it’s not going to be anybody with a really errant driving record," said Adlesh.
The company promises to pay for any tickets a renter may get, and they handle all the insurance with coverage up to $1 million. They'll also shuttle you to and from the airport.
Already up and running in 15 cities, FlightCar was created only 3 years ago at a Panera Bread in Princeton. It's the bright idea of two New Jersey college drop outs.
"It’s great to sort of have come full circle and be back sort of where we all started," said Rujul Zaparde, FlightCar's co-founder and CEO.
Zaparde was only 17 when he declined to head to Harvard to instead pursue his idea.
"If you have an idea and you believe in it, and at the least your curiosity to see it through, go do it. That’s the number one thing," Zaparde said. "Even for us, we had no idea what we were doing back then. And, we still in some ways don’t, and we’re still in some ways learning. But you know, it’s a learning process."
Some online reviews of the service may reflect the young company's growing pains. In other markets, some users have reported their cars were returned damaged or dirty.
The company promises that renting a car from them is 20-40 percent cheaper than with a traditional company. As for how much you could make, your car's age and condition has bearing on your profits. The company can offer 5 to 20 cents per mile driven by the renter.