Want to drive a 1937 Packard this weekend? A 1973 VW van? A 1931 Model A? DriveShare has your car.
The new company, modeling itself as the “Airbnb of vintage cars,” is now offering a peer-to-peer rental service.
Using a database of more than one million vehicles insured by parent company Hagerty, the country’s leader in vintage-vehicle insurance, the just-launched DriveShare already has a menu of 300 tasty offerings.
Costing from $99 a day for a Porsche Boxster in Roanoke, Va., to $3,300 a day for a Lamborghini Aventador in Los Angeles, the vehicles are meant to appeal to vintage-car buffs. And the opportunity to make money by renting out one’s vehicle can soften the cost of vintage-car ownership.
“We think this might be the future of the vintage-car world,” Hagerty chief executive McKeel Hagerty said. “This is an entry point for the next generation, who may not be familiar with vintage cars, and it’s also an entry point for a prospective owner who can’t quite afford the cost of a vintage vehicle.”
Hagerty opened DriveShare in partnership with the regional rental company Classics&Exotics, whose founder, Peter Zawadzki, has joined the insurance giant as director of DriveShare.
Classics&Exotics, a privately funded Massachusetts start-up that Zawadzki launched in 2015, began to interest Hagerty after he received multiple queries.
“I kept bumping into people who would mention Classics&Exotics and ask me, ‘Could this work?’” Hagerty said. “I finally realized, yes, it could, if we got behind it.”
Overseen by Zawadzki and Hagerty, the new company handled 50 transactions in its beta state. Zawadzki said four of those transactions resulted in vintage-car purchases — after the renter fell in love with the classic-car experience.
As an example, Zawadzki described how a New Yorker who wanted a quintessential California vacation driving experience rented a BMW 2002 from an owner in Los Angeles. The renter enjoyed the car so much, he returned to New York and bought an older BMW for himself.
DriveShare joins a small group of peer-to-peer car-rental services. Best known are two San Francisco ventures: Turo, which oversees a network of 160,000 privately owned cars in 5,000 cities, and Getaround, which operates in eight U.S. cities, soon to launch in Philadelphia, and allows for rental on an hourly basis.
The median DriveShare transaction rate is $275 a day, with prices based on the age, rarity, and condition of each vehicle. The transactions are insured by DriveShare, with the cost of insurance folded into the daily rental rate.
Potential renters are screened as part of signing up for the service. DriveShare accepts or rejects them based on their driving records and what Zawadzki called “a full background check.” Anyone with more than two major traffic tickets in the last two years, or with a DUI, need not apply.
Cars are screened for safety and drivability.
The database is searchable by geographic location, category of car (hot rod, classic car, or muscle car, for example), price, and special features.
The service is available nationwide, except in New York, where insurance rental regulations prevent DriveShare from operating.
The most-rented car so far, Zawadzki said, is that 1937 Packard.
The two men who cooked up DriveShare are serious about vintage cars. Hagerty spent part of his time at the recently concluded Pebble Beach car show tooling around in an 1967 Porsche he got as a teenager and has just finished restoring. Zawadzki has in his garage a 1958 MGA, a 1984 Porsche 911, and a 1984 Ferrari 308.
“This is our passion,” Hagerty said. “We want to remove all the barriers we can to vintage-car ownership for the next generation of drivers.”