The Joy of Car Sharing
Drive your dream, without emptying your wallet
Now if you're a Brit reading this, you may not yet have heard about car sharing apps. But good news - they're coming your way.
Over here in San Francisco, we have the luxury of choice - from Getaround to Zipcar and, my personal favourite, Turo.
Essentially we're talking airbnb for cars here - people list their own cars for others to rent. This is perhaps the most glorious iteration of the sharing economy witnessed to date. Turo is of most interest to us petrolheads as it has a great stock of premium cars. This means I can easily rent other people's F-types, M4s and 911s for ordinary rental car money.
Don't believe me? Last weekend I rented a silky black 2006 Carrera S cabriolet for just $250 over 2 days. We covered 400 miles in it, redlining it along the gorgeous folding asphalt of the Pacific Coast Highway to Mendocino. Highlights included racing through a redwood forest pass to Montgomery Woods, and a terrifying encounter with a gang of lairy sports bikers on the coast with my buddy at the helm. I distinctly recall anxiously saying "please don't kill us, please don't kill us!". Fortunately both we and the car lived, and we certainly gave them a run for their money ;)
Having read endless car mags glorifying the purity of driving experience delivered by a 911, I was properly excited about getting behind the wheel. I'm talking kid-the-night-before-Christmas levels of anticipation, perhaps to my embarrassment as a grown man. But hey, sometimes you need to let the inner child free.
It's funny how clear an idea I'd formed in my head about what it was going to be like, and actually it totally lived up to what I was expecting. Hearing the howling straight 6 with the roof down surrounded by epic coastal views was pretty unbeatable. As a high-miler the clutch was a touch grabby, but the gearshift was a joy above 1st and the soundtrack like an orchestra in peak crescendo.
The amazing thing is this has literally opened up a whole new world of hot metal to us mere mortals that aren't car journalists or zillionaires. While on one hand it's got me seriously trawling Craigslist for a used 911, on the other it has me wondering whether I actually need to own a fast car? I could commute in something basic and reserve say $3000 per year to rent a different sweet car every single month... surely a tempting alternative! Especially given I wouldn't have to pay to maintain any of them.
It's fair to say that I've officially caught the Turo bug now. I've booked a recent Jeep Wrangler to drive through the Grand Canyon and the desert with my old Scottish pals next week, for just 58 bucks! Next I have my eye on a bright red Aston V8 Vantage... perhaps for a civilized Napa trip.
This could be you in these photos... Go check it out! I believe Turo just opened in London... Enjoy!