Could Ford's Peer-2-Peer Program Make Car Sharing a Big Deal?
They say sharing is caring, but with Ford's Peer-2-Peer car sharing program you can also save a lot of money! Find out more about Ford's latest venture here.
Jul 07, 2015
On 23rd June, Ford announced that they would be taking a bold step into the car sharing or ‘car club’ scene, with their Peer-2-Peer Car Sharing pilot program. The program will run for six months, allowing 14,000 Ford Credit customers in the USA and 12,000 in London to take part. Here in the UK, Ford have teamed up with EasyCar Club to connect leasers and drivers effectively.
This isn’t the first time Londoners have tested the waters with car sharing though. The GoDrive car sharing service was launched in May, providing a one-way, pay-per-minute service (where you don’t have to return the car to its original location) and guaranteed city centre parking. This Peer-to-Peer program is the next step into creating a more caring, sharing way of getting around London.
What is car sharing and why should I be interested?
Car sharing lets car owners rent their vehicle out for a specified period of time, often charging it’s user by the hour. By connecting with renters and users via website software, you can easily participate and make arrangements online. In the case of the Peer-2-Peer program, Ford Credit have used EasyCar Club’s software alongside a pre-screening process to make renting your car safe and secure.
There are a number of enticing benefits to Ford’s car sharing program which apply to car renters and users.
• Cut the cost of financing your vehicle by off-setting monthly fees
• Get more use out of the vehicle when it would otherwise just be parked
• Easy and stress-free to find potential users
• Advanced online software allows you to connect with participants across London
• Safe and secure pre-screening process before renting your car
• Car will be returned to you at the end of its use
• A simple online resource to find local car renters in your area
• Cheaper pay-as-you-go alternative to purchasing a car or getting it on finance
• Only pay for the car when you need it
Ford Peer-to-Peer: what we know so far
At the moment Ford Peer-To-Peer is just a pilot, where the 12,000 participants in London will be invited to take part by Ford. The program is also only open the people who have bought a Ford car on finance through the Ford Credit scheme. So despite this seeming like an exciting new avenue in the automotive industry, it’s currently off-limits to the majority of us. Even in the USA, the program will only be rolled out in six cities – all of which are in California.
However, the fact that Ford are running the program for so long with the help of intuitive EasyCar Club online software shows that it has real promise for future mainstream release. Ford’s David McClelland said: “As most vehicles are parked and out of use much of the time, this can help us gauge our customers' desires to pick up extra cash and keep their vehicles in use."
As well as being one of the first car manufacturers to take on a car sharing program, Ford have also announced that they are testing an app designed for employee car swapping; another forward-thinking, even easier way to rent your car out.
To illustrate the potential of car sharing schemes in general, Enterprise (owners of Enterprise Rent-A-Car) surveyed rental car users. The survey found that 27% said renting has prompted them to shop for a new car, while two thirds changed their perception of a car model based on their rental car.
What do you think? Would you consider renting out your Ford or use a rented Ford if Peer-2-Peer went public? The benefits and incentives are clearly there - especially for renters – so it will be interesting to see how/if it succeeds in six months’ time!