CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new car-sharing service is gaining popularity in Charlotte.
What You Need To Know
A new car-sharing app is in Charlotte
It’s called Avail, and you can share your car to make extra cash
Shavonne Butler says she finds it as a cheaper option to owning a car
It's called Avail. It’s sort of like Airbnb but for your car. Basically, you can share your car for people to rent, or you can rent a car from someone in the area. This is different than using another rental car company, because these cars are owned by real people.
Avail reps say since they launched, they’ve doubled their bookings every month from May to December of 2021. They say the number of people sharing their vehicles in Charlotte grew by 34% each month in the same time period.
Shavonne Butler is an avid user in the Charlotte area. She moved here three months ago with her 15-year-old daughter from her hometown in Aiken, South Carolina where she was an accountant.
“I got to a point in my life where I didn’t want to be an accountant anymore," she said. "It was like, 'well what do you wanna do?' So, I went to school to be a licensed therapist.”
She won’t be in Charlotte for long though. She plans to live in a different state each month, and she’s hoping Avail will get her there.
“I found the more you own, the less you can do,” she said. "The challenge wasn’t that I needed a car, it was that I didn’t want to spend so much money on a car.”
For her, she finds it to be cheaper than having monthly car payments, insurance payments and more.
“I don’t have to worry about maintenance, all I have to do is put gas in it,” she said.
Her next stop is Orlando, and after that she’ll choose her next destination based on where she can access Avail.
"My daughter and I can just pack up and go wherever and just live there comfortably using Avail,” she said.
Pete Stokes, head of Avail field operations, says all Avail customers, borrowers and car owners who share with them receive full insurance coverage from Allstate for every trip.
"Avail owners are required to have physical damage coverage on their personal policy unless participating in the Avail Plus long-term sharing program,” Stokes said. "Avail owners are also responsible for meeting their state’s minimum liability coverage laws and should speak with their insurance agent if they have any questions about their coverage."
In addition, a spokesperson with the Insurance Information Institute says to also check with your insurance agent about your coverage if you are looking at sharing your car. She says to make sure to check over your car before and after every trip.