They rented their cars on pallets, they made it their business

When he was getting a master’s degree in economics from the Sorbonne, Ayman set himself up in the field of finance. He saw himself working in banking compliance for a large corporation. Since then, his plans have changed. In March 2020, when he was at Masters 1, he bought a used Renault Modus for 5,000 euros to rent. Others will follow. And what was supposed to be an extra income became… a full-time professional activity.

The 24-year-old got involved in adventure with Pierre, a friend who at the time worked in a real estate agency. The duo rent their cars on Getaround (formerly Drivy) and OuiCar, two leading interpersonal car rental platforms in the French market. Drivers can rent vehicles there for a few hours, days or weeks. Among the registered owners of these sites are Melvin: those who rent out their personal car that they do not use on a daily basis in order to amortize the cost of its acquisition and maintenance, and the others, such as Ayman and Pierre, who buy driverless vehicles. in order to make a profit.

Created in several cities. They soon realized that there was a strong demand and increased their fleet. Today, they have at least 22 vehicles (city cars, utility and station wagons) and aim for 34 vehicles during the summer. “We never imagined he could achieve such success.”, smiles Pierre, 28, who has resumed work studies and studies in real estate development. To support them, they are hiring a part-time administrative assistant.

Connected funds for simplified management

Their cars are parked in Brest, Quimper, Limoges, Poitiers, Orleans, Dijon, Besançon … If such logistics are possible, it is thanks to the connected boxes provided by the platforms. This allows renters to unlock the car with their smartphone, collect the keys and return them at the end of the rental without meeting anyone. It is enough to provide a great deal of flexibility, which traditional rental agencies do not necessarily have.

Of course, this service comes at a price. The Getaround Connected Box costs €19 per month per vehicle – the costs are borne by the owners. To take advantage of them, the vehicle must be, among other things, less than 10 years old and less than 150,000 kilometers on the odometer. At OuiCar, calculate €29.90 per month for the fund.

If these funds amputate their income, the duo finds their account there. “It allows us to manage rather passively”Pierre and Ayman, who still have to travel through France to clean their cars once a week, are excited with the help of the latter’s brother.

Luke, 34, prefers to do without the box and hand the keys. He can afford it because his 15 cars are concentrated in the Toulouse region near his home.

He is also dedicated to his rental business. When he started in 2019, he was a project manager in aviation and wanted to generate additional income. In the summer of 2020 in the midst of a pandemic, he decided to devote himself to his wife, who had quit her job as a keyboard operator.

Subcontract car rental

Their cars are rented out at OuiCar, Getaround, and the site the couple created. “We make enough profits to be able to live decently, Luke explains. I earn about the same amount as at my previous job, and my wife earns a little more. » And to add: “With the difference we now manage for our time, our investments make us enjoy a better quality of life.”

To achieve this, they indulged their savings and reinvested all their income in the acquisition of new cars. But not everyone who rents cars on platforms owns them.

Emile, a 27-year-old developer based in Paris, did not have enough savings to buy five cars as he wanted. So he set up a rental company that he rents out in order to… sublease it.

Pays €250 per month for each of the five Volkswagen Polo cars rented. To this is added 100 euros for parking in Paris and the suburbs and 150 euros for insurance per vehicle. This is a cost of about 500 euros per month and per vehicle. I rent them for 50 euros a day. after 11e Rent day, so the money goes into my pocket. » Over the course of one year, he aims to make a profit of 15,000 euros with five cars, or 3,000 euros per car. He intends to increase his fleet to become its owner with a goal “Earn enough income to hire someone to take care of him”.

Taxes and restrictions

Of course, taxes erode profitability. Owners who rent vehicles must declare the income they receive from them for tax purposes. From 8,227 euros per year, they must register their activity (under the status of public order, as a small entrepreneur or as a self-employed worker) and pay social security contributions.

This activity requires some logistics. Emil cleans each of his cars at least once a week. He must also transfer his fines to motorists and regularly go to the garage, in the event of a breakdown or damage to the car body. Getaround and OuiCar’s insurance policies, included in the 10% commission that is deducted from the rate set by the rental companies, generally enable him to get his cars fixed without incident.

In the event of a serious accident, the vehicles may not be able to be recycled and may be disposed of. It happened to several Luke’s cars, the tenants of which had an accident. “In these cases, we have to buy a car immediately with our savings and wait for the insurance to be repaid – which takes an average of a month and a half. But if we don’t have cash, we give up cash flow for several weeks…” Another element to consider: Unlike real estate where the seller of the property can make a profit from resale, cars see their value depreciate.

Some people are saved from buying vehicles that they may not use often

Tom owns three cars

Despite these limitations, this form of investment is attractive. Tom, a 22-year-old salesman, landed in the summer of 2021. He owns three cars that were bought for a total of €28,000 and rented in Vaucluse. “I did not have enough to invest in real estate and it turned out to be a good investment! » It generates a profit of up to 600 euros per month. In addition to the financial stake, he insists on the fact that this investment seems to him virtuous: “We are preventing some people from buying cars that they will use very little.”

What reassures him about this business: The ability to easily roll back if profitability collapses. “All you have to do is remove vehicles from pallets in a few clicks and resell them.” But this is not localized. For now, the young man hopes to increase his fleet… For him too, why not make a living from it.

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